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Gc M. U 






3 1833 01066 7175 


Make me, O God, a loving mother-state, 
Whose sturdy sons and comely daughters leal 
With selfless pride shall count maternal weal 
The chiefest end — the certain way and straight. 
Through which to win the chaplets of the great. 
Make me, O God, essentially to feel 
My children's loyal love, the perfect, real, 
Supremest gift bestowed by Gracious Fate 
Make mine, O God, in truth a commonwealth. 
Wherein each heir shall share and share partake, 
And none shall fail and none shall take by stealth ; 
My all for them ; and they for Mother's sake 

Shall deem it good both gear and life to give. 

In love and trust, may Heaven let us live. 









Copyright, 1905, by 

Entered at Stationers' Hall, Lokdok 

E- P 6 



The student who learns the story of his community, 
the sacrifices and successes of the pioneers, the worthy 
accomplishments of his relatives of an earlier generation, 
the history of the soil upon which he Hves, will hardly fail 
to develop pride in his locality, and that pride is an almost 
certain guaranty of good citizenship. The following 
stories of South Dakota are written in the belief that they 
will contribute something to the development of an intel- 
ligent and patriotic citizenship in our state. 


I. The Story told by the Rocks . 

II. The Story of the Mounds 

III. The Aboriginal Indians 

IV. White Explorers 
V. Some Land Claims 

VI. Le\vis and Clark .... 

VII. Lewis and Clark with the Tetons 

VIII. The First Bloodshed . 

IX. A Notable Boat Race 

X. A Patriotic Celebration . 

XI. An English Captain from South Dakota 

XII. Manuel Lisa, American 

XIII. The Ree Conquest 

XIV. A Fourth of July Celebration 
XV. Some Tales of Travelers . 

XVI. A Bad Bargain .... 

XVII. The Spirit Lake Massacre 

XVIII. A Campaign that Failed . 

XIX. Permanent Settlement 

XX. The New Territory is Born 

XXI. The War of the Outbrea.k 

XXII. A Dakota Paul Revere 

XXIII. The Red Cloud War . 




It is very easy to read the story of the rocks in South 
Dakota, for here more than anywhere else the several 
formations are exposed to view, and we can readily see 
what must have happened in that time very long ^go, 
before men, or even animals, inhabited the Dakota land. 
The rock formations can be seen more or less all over the 
state, but their story is clearly shown especially in that 
section near the head waters of the White River at the foot 
of the Black Hills, known as the Bad Lands. 

We learn there that in an ancient time a great ocean 
rolled over South Dakota; that some great convulsion 
must have occurred deep in the earth which threw up the 
Black Hills and other western mountains ; that the ocean 
swept over these hills, grinding them up and washing them 
down across its floor toward the eastern part of the state, 
thus laying down a formation or stratum now compressed 
into hard rock which is the lowest of the many forma- 
tions studied by the geologist. We learn that again and 
again the rocks and hills were raised up, each time to be 



washed down by the ocean, each washing making a new 
stratum, until finally there came a time when the ocean 
could not overcome the hills and the latter became high 
and solid earth somewhat as we now know them. In this 
time the earliest evidences of life appeared, in the form of 
snails and other low orders of creatures. 

Then the ocean seems to have come back and swept 
-iown another stratum of soil from the mountain bases, 
and after it had again subsided came a race of monstrous 
reptiles, the remains of which are found quite generally 
over the state wherever the formation of that period is 
exposed. It is quite certain that at this time South 
Dakota was in the main a vast steaming swamp, for the 
climate was tropical, and out of the swamp grew tropical 

For how long the reptiles reigned no one can ever know, 
but their period was followed by another, in which great 
animals, much larger than anything now in existence, 
roamed throughout the land. They have been given hard 
names by scientific men who study their remains; as 
titanotheres, brontotheres, and eleotheres. The titano- 
thercs and brontotheres were evidently of the elephant or 
rhinoceros family, and the eleotheres were giant pigs. 
While remains of these animals are most common in the 
Bad Lands, they are found in many other localities, show- 
ing that they roamed generally throughout the state. At 
this time we can be very sure, from the signs which are 
left, that South Dakota was a great swampy, tropical 
plain which sloped gently down from the Black Hills on 
the west to the great central river flowing through the 


present James River valley, and from this river sloped 
up to the top of the coteau at the east line of the state. 

By this time several agencies were at work which re- 
sulted in a great change in the climate of the region. The 
uphfting of the Black Hills and the Rocky Mountains had 
cut off the warm breezes from the Pacific Ocean, and in 
the far north vast heaps of ice were being piled up by the 
almost continual freezing of the frigid climate. These 
heaps of ice had become so deep that they could not sup- 
port their own weight, and so began to run or spread out 
as you may have seen a large lump of dough spread when 
turned from the kneading pan to the table. When we ex- 
amine a piece of ice, it seems to be so hard and brittle that 
it does not seem possible for ice to spread in this way; 
nevertheless, scientific men have shown beyond doubt 
that ice does spread when placed under a great weight. 

The spreading of this ice sent it down from the north- 
east until it had run far down into the South Dakota 
country. It was so thick and heavy that it completely 
dammed up the valley of the great river, so that its waters 
became a great lake, lying north of the ice and extending 
far back into the Rocky Mountains. The ice pushed 
along until its western edge had traveled as far as the line 
now occupied by the Missouri River, when it began to 
melt away. The waters which were dammed up in the 
upper part of the great valley began to seep about the 
western edge of the ice, until they ran entirely around it 
and reached the old bed of the stream below Yankton. 

Thus the ice quite changed the surface of South Dakota. 
Before it came the Grand River extended east from its 












present course until it reached the great river near where 
Aberdeen now is. The Cheyenne ran down to Redfield, 
the Teton or Bad River to Huron, and the White to 
Mitchell. The great animals, the titanotheres, masto- 
dons, and eleotheres, were destroyed by the ice, and when 
it had melted away, it left new conditions in climate, soil, 
and river courses, not greatly different from what exist 

Of the Bad Lands from which much of this story is 
learned Professor Charles E. Holmes, a poet whom all 
South Dakotans delight to honor, has written the following 
verses : — 

The Bad Lands 

A stillness sleeps on the broken plain. 
And the sun beats down, with a fiery rain, 
On the crust that covers the sand that is rife 
With the bleaching bones of the old world life. 

'Tis a sea of sand, and over the waves 
Are the wind-blown tops of the Cyclops' caves; 
And the mountain-sheep and the antelopes 
Graze cautiously over the sun-burnt slopes. 

And here in the sport of the wild wind's play 
A thousand years are as yesterday, 
And a million more in these barren lands 
Have run themselves in the shifting sands. 

Oh, the struggle and strife and the passion and pain 
Since the bones lay bleached on the sandy plain, 
And a stillness fell on the shifting sea. 
And a silence that tells of eternity ! 



When human beings first came to live in the South 
Dakota country, is now unknown. Whether or not other 
men Uved here before the Indian tribes is not certain. 
Those who have studied the subject most carefully 
believe there was no one here before the Indians came. 
In various localities there are a number of mounds 
evidently the work of man, but it is believed that they 
were all built by Indians. 

All along the Missouri River, at the best points for 
defense, and for the control of the passage of the stream, 
are mounds that are the remains of fortresses. Their 
builders must have labored industriously to construct 
them. It is believed they were built by the ancestors 
of the Ree Indians, who still occupied the section when 
white men first came to it. The most important of these 
mounds are in the vicinity of Pierre, where it is known 
the Rces had a very large settlement which they aban- 
doned a little more than a century ago. Here are the 
remains of four very important forts, two on each shore 
of the river, completely protecting the approach, from 
above and below, to the extensive region between, which 
was occupied by the Rees for their homes and gardens. 



Along the Big Sioux River, especially in the vicinity of 
Sioux Falls, and about the lakes on the coteau in Roberts 
and Marshall counties, are many mounds which chiefly 
were burial places. From them have been taken many 
curious stone implements which were used by the In- 
dians in hunting and for domestic purposes before white 
men brought them implements of iron and steel. Some 
of these implements are very similar to those used by the 
Chickasaws and other tribes of the southern United States, 
and are not at all like the implements of the Ree and 
Sioux Indians; and this fact leads scientific men to sup- 
pose that those southern tribes may at one time have 
occupied the Dakota country. 

The Sioux Indians, too, made many small earthworks, 
and light stone works, usually on prominent hills and along 
the streams, but these are chiefly memorials of some strik- 
ing tribal event. Some of the more important ones are 
at the hill known as Big Tom, near Big Stone Lake; 
at Snake Butte, near Pierre; at Medicine Knoll, near 
Blunt; at Turtle Peak, near Wessington Springs; at 
Punished Woman's Lake in Codington County ; and near 
Armadale Grove, Ashton, and Huron, on the James 
River. Almost invariably as a feature of these memo- 
rials the image of some bird, animal, or reptile has been 
made out of small bowlders to indicate the lodge or cult 
q I the per s^^ -whose deeds are commemorated. 

Lewis and Clark, the explorers, found at Bon Homme 
Island, near Yankton, a very extensive embankment of 
earth which they measured carefully and described very 
fully, and which for eighty years afterward was supposed 


to be proof that the region had been occupied by a pre- 
historic people. It is now known, however, that this 
embankment was produced by the action of wind and 

The South Dakota mounds that were erected by In- 
dians are of less importance than similar mounds found 
in some other parts of the great Mississippi valley; but 
they are of great interest as the oldest works of man in 
our state. 



The Ree, or Aricara, Indians were possibly the first 
human inhabitants of South Dakota. These Indians 

Ree Indian Lodge 

built permanent villages, of earth lodges, and lived by 
agriculture and the chase. Their homes were always near 

so. DAK. — 2 



the Missouri River or some other large stream. Their 
lodges were built by digging a round hole, like a cellar, 
in the earth, over which a roof was made by setting up 
forked timbers, which were covered with poles and brush 
and then buried in earth. A hole was left in the top of 
the lodge for ventilation, light, and the escape of smoke. 
These lodges were very comfortable and do not seem to 
have been unhealthful. Farming by the Rees was limited 
to the raising of corn, beans, pumpkins, squashes, and 
tobacco. Each family had its own tract of ground, 
fenced off with bushes and rushes, and the only implement 
used in the cultivation of the crop was a sort of shovel 
made from the shoulder blade of the buffalo. For very 
many years, how long is not known, but probably nearly 
a century, their chief settlement was in the immediate 
vicinity of Pierre, but in 1792, being driven away by the 
Sioux, they settled in the northern part of the state near 
the mouth of Grand River, where part of the tribe was 
already established. 

When white men first had knowledge of the Dakota 
country, the Omaha Indians occupied the Big Sioux valley 
and the Missouri valley as far as the mouth of the James 
River, while at that time, or very soon thereafter, a settle- 
ment of Sisseton Sioux was made at Big Stone Lake, 
and the Kiowas occupied the Black Hills. All of these 
tribes, unlike the Rees, were nomadic ; that is, they lived 
in tents and moved about from place to place as suited 
their convenience. 

Sometime in the latter part of the seventeenth century 
the Sioux Indians who were natives of the timbered coun- 



try about the lakes in northern Minnesota, were forced 
away from their homes by the Chippewas, and some of 
their bands came out to the prairie. For many years they 
remained upon the upper Minnesota River and Big Stone 
and Traverse lakes, and, having secured horses, began to 
hunt the buffalo far out on the plains of South Dakota. 
In the course of time they learned that west of the Mis- 
souri River the 
snowfall was very 
light, and that the 
buffalo gathered 
there in the winter 
season to feed 
upon the rich 
grasses of what 
are now the fa- 
mous South Da- 
kota ranges. This 
fact made the 
Sioux wish to live there, where they could secure plenty 
of buffalo meat with little effort both summer and winter. 
But the country which they wished to occupy was the 
home and hunting ground of the Rees, who stubbornly 
fought off the invading Sioux. It was before 1750 that 
these prairie or Teton Sioux undertook to conquer the 
buffalo ranges west of the Missouri. A war of more than 
forty years followed, in which the Sioux were finally suc- 
cessful. They could not dislodge the Rees from their 
strong forts on the Missouri, but having succeeded in 
crossing the river, they w^re able to keep the buffalo so far 




away that the Ree hunters could not get them, and thus 
they really starved out their enemies, who, as we have 
seen, moved to a new home on the Grand River. As 
military men would say, the Rees were flanked out of 
their position by the Sioux. 

In 1775 the enterprising Og- 
lala branch of the Teton Sioux 
had penetrated as far as the 
Black Hills, where they paid 
their compliments to the Kiowas 
and before the end of the 
eighteenth century had driven 
them away, and settled in 
their territory. 

While the Teton Sioux were 
thus making a settlement west 
of the Missouri, their relatives 
the Yanktons, who like them- 
selves had been crowded out 
of the Minnesota timber, were 
trying to find a home in the 
lower country between the 
Mississippi and Missouri rivers. 
They settled among the Osages, but were driven away. 
Then they conquered a small territory in the Otto country 
in western Iowa, but finally were driven away from there 
with the loss of all their horses and other property. Be- 
fore the Teton Sioux went to the Missouri they had driven 
the Omahas from the Big Sioux and James rivers to a new 
home south of the Missouri, and the Teton Sioux claimed 

Sioux Warrior 


the Big Sioux and James valleys as conquered territory. 
Now, however, while the Tetons' hands were full with their 
forty years' war with the Rees, the Omahas were threat- 
ening to come back into their old South Dakota homes. 
Therefore when the Yanktons, whipped and robbed by 
the Ottos, came up the Missouri looking for a place to rest, 
they were warmly welcomed by the Tetons, who gladly 
gave them a large territory to occupy on the James River, 
and fitted them out with arms and horses to enable them 
to defend their new home from the threatened invasion 
of the Omahas. 

So it came about that before the end of the eighteenth 
century all of South Dakota, except a very small territory, 
not more than four or five townships in extent, near the 
mouth of Grand River, which was occupied by the Rees, 
had passed into the possession and control of the power- 
ful Sioux tribes. 



Charles Pierre Le Sueur was one of the most enter- 
prising and energetic of the merchant explorers who came 
out from Canada and roamed all over the western country 
in search of trade in furs, during the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. Le Sueur was a fur trader and a 
politician as well. He Vv^as a native of Montreal, and was 
a cousin of the famous D'lberville and Bienville who 
were conspicuous in founding the French settlements in 
Louisiana and Alabama. He visited the upper INIissis- 
sippi country as early as the year 1683, and from that 
time until 1700 spent most of his time upon that stream 
and westward. 

It is claimed that when Le Sueur learned that La 
Salle had explored the Mississippi River to its mouth, 
he promptly saw the opportunity to enrich himself by 
collecting furs in the West and sending them to France 
and England by way of the Mississippi, thus escaping the 
payment of the heavy tax placed on the fur traffic by the 
Canadian government. Sending his cousin, D'Iberville, 
to the mouth of the Mississippi with a ship, Le Sueur 
came west of the Mississippi, collected a large amount 
of furs among the Omaha Indians on the Big Sioux 
River, and sent them on a flatboat down the Big Sioux 




and Missouri to the Mississippi, where D'Iberville took 
them aboard his ship and carried them to Europe, selhng 
them at great profit. Le Sueur himself returned to the 
Mississippi, where he gathered a small quantity of furs, 
and taking them back to Canada, dutifully paid the tax 
upon them, as a good citizen should do. While there are 
reasons for believing that this story is true, it can not be 
verified from the records. If true, Le Sueur was the first 
white man to visit South Dakota. 

In any event, Le Sueur in 1699 came back from France, 
to the West, by way of the Mississippi and Minnesota 
rivers, and built a fort on the Blue Earth River, a few miles 
from the site of Mankato, Minnesota, where for a year 
or two he mined for copper and at the same time carried 
on a trade with the neighboring Indians. He traded 
with the Omahas, who still resided on the Big Sioux 
River, and very probably visited them. He returned to 
France in 1701 and soon afterward furnished the infor- 
mation from which the geographer De I'lsle made a 
map of the central portion of North America, including 
the eastern portion of South Dakota. It is possible that 
Le Sueur obtained his knowledge of South Dakota from 
the Indians, but it is most Hkely that he gained it from 
personal observation of the ground. The map shows 
Big Stone Lake and Lake Traverse, the Big Sioux, James, 
and Missouri rivers in their proper relation and very 
well drawn. It locates the Omahas (Maha on the map, 
p. 24) on the Big Sioux, a village of Iowa Indians (Aiaouez) 
on the James, and the Yanktons on the Missouri in west- 
cm Iowa, where they were then residing in the Otto 



country. There is a road shown on the map, extending 
westward from the mouth of the Wisconsin River, by way 
of Spirit Lake, Iowa, to Sioux Falls, and marked "track 
of the voyagers. " From all of these things it is believed 



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De L'lsLE's Map, made from Information supplied by Le Sueur 

that Le Sueur was the first white man to enter the South 
Dakota country, but if he did not come here himself, it is 
quite certain that other white men in his employ did do 
so, at or before the beginning of the eighteenth century. 



On the strength of the discoveries of Columbus, and 
especially of Coronado, who came from Mexico up through 
New Mexico and into Kansas in 1 540-1 541, Spain claimed 
all of the interior of the American continent, including 
the South Dakota country. She did nothing, however, 
in the way of exploration or occupancy, to make the 
claim good, though for more than a hundred years her 
right was undisputed, until the French from Canada 
began to trade with the Sioux Indians and claimed for 
France all of the territory which they entered. 

On September 18, 1712, the king of France granted 
the monopoly of trade in all of the territory lying in the 
Mississippi valley to Anthony Crozat, a banker of Paris, 
for the term of sixteen years. The action of the French 
led the Spaniards to take measures to assert their claims, 
and they sent men from Santa Fe to drive the French from 
the lower Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The Spanish 
plan was to excite the Osage Indians to make war on 
the Missouri Indians, who were friendly to the French, 
but by a mistake the Spaniards went directly to the Mis- 
souri camp, where the entire party, with one exception, 
were killed. This led the French to build a fort near 
the mouth of the Missouri. 



In 1732 the king of France reasserted his sovereignty 
over the Mississippi and Missouri valleys, and governed 
the section through a governor general who lived at New 
Orleans. There is no record or probability that either 
France or Spain took any actual possession of the South 
Dakota country until young Verendrye claimed it for 
France in March, 1743. 

For nearly twenty years after Verendrye claimed the 
land France's title seems to have been undisputed, but in 
1762 she ceded all of Louisiana, which included South 
Dakota, to Spain, in return for certain political favors. 
Spain took possession and governed the land west of the 
Mississippi for nearly forty years thereafter; then in 1800 
she secretly deeded it back to France. 

When the American people learned of this secret 
cession of the Louisiana country to France, the western 
pioneers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee 
were greatly concerned and aroused. The great Napoleon 
had just made himself the head of the French govern- 
ment; his fame as a soldier and conqueror had spread 
over the world, and the American frontiersman did not 
like to have him for a near neighbor. 

Thomas Jefferson was then President of the United 
States. The importance of the control of the Mississippi 
River was clear to his far-seeing eye. He determined 
that we must, at least, have a joint right to its free passage 
and must have a site for a commercial city at its mouth, 
and he undertook, by sending special representatives to 
France, to secure these rights. At the same time he pre- 
vailed upon Congress to permit him to undertake the 


exploration of the far West with a view to finding a means 
of crossing the continent to the Pacific Ocean, and while 
his ambassadors were at Paris, bargaining for free rights 
on the Mississippi, Jefferson was pushing his plan to send 
an exploring party across the American continent. He had 
his party organized and his plans well matured when, to 
his surprise, and the surprise of all America, the news came 
from Paris that the American ministers had bought not 
only the desired free rights on the Mississippi, but all of 
the great Louisiana territory as well. Thus it came about 
that, as a part of Louisiana, South Dakota came into the 
possession of the United States, having been first claimed 
by Spain, then by France, again by Spain, again passing to 
France, and finally falling to the American common- 



Jefferson selected to head his party of explorers his 
private secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, a cousin of 
George Washington. Scientific knowledge was not very 
far advanced in America at this time, but early in the 
spring of 1803, a few days before the bargain with Na- 
poleon had been made and months before it had been 
thought of in America, Lewis hurried from Washington 
to Philadelphia to take a brief course in the natural 
sciences and mathematics, hoping to gain enough to enable 
him to make scientific observations of the country through 
which he was to pass, and to determine the latitude and 
longitude of various places. 

While Lewis was in Philadelphia, it occurred to him 
that it would be wise to organize the expedition in two 
parts, and keep two records, so that in case one record 
was lost there would be hope of preserving the other. 
He told Jefferson about it, and the President thought the 
plan a wise one ; so Captain William Clark — a brother 
of General George Rogers Clark, the man who in the Revo- 
lutionary War had saved Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to 
the United States — was selected to accompany Captain 
Lewis, and to enjoy with him equal rank in the command 
of the enterprise. 




All of the remainder of that year was spent in preparation. 
In the summer the two captains set out for St. Louis, 
and not until they 
reached the Ohio 
River did they 
learn of the pur- 
chase of Louisiana 
by the American 
government. They 
secured the serv- 
ices of forty-one 
persons, all told 
— soldiers, guides, 
boatmen, and 
hunters — and en- 
camped for the 
winter on the east 
bank of the Mis- 
sissippi, opposite 
the mouth of the 

The 9th of May, 
1804, was set for 
the formal transfer 
of Louisiana from 
Spain to France 
and from France 
to the United States, and Jefferson desired Lewis and 
Clark to remain at St. Louis for that ceremony, which 
they did. Therefore, it was not until three o'clock in the 

Captain Meriwether Lewis 

Statue at the Lewis and Clark Exposition, 1903 


afternoon of Monday, May 14, that the little band set off 
up the Missouri. They had several boats, which they pro- 
pelled with oars or sails, or towed with ropes, according to 
the condition of the river and the direction of the wind. 
They proceeded very slowly, examining the river and the 
country, and visiting the Indians, but without any event 
affecting the history of South Dakota until they arrived 
at the mouth of the Big Sioux River at eight o'clock in 
the morning of August 21, 1804. That night they camped 
on the Nebraska shore. 

Sergeant Charles Floyd having died the evening of 
August 20, when at the site of Sioux City, the men were 
allowed to select a successor to him, and the choice, which 
was made by ballot, fell to Patrick Gass. This occurred 
on the 2 2d when the party was encamped at Elkpoint, 
and it may reasonably be assumed to be the first popular 
election in South Dakota. The next morning Captain 
Lewis killed a very large buffalo upon the bottom near 
Burbank, from which they salted two barrels of meat. 

On the 24th they arrived at the mouth of the Ver- 
milion River, and the captains took two men and went up 
nine miles to examine Spirit Mound, about which they 
had heard strange stories from the Indians, who be- 
lieved that it was inhabited by a race of dwarfs, little 
people not larger than gophers, who instantly put to 
death any one who came near their home. It is need- 
less to say that the explorers found nothing mysterious 
or alarming about the very ordinary mound upon the 
prairie. They did, however, find much that was pleasing 
to them. They say in their journal, "We saw none of 



these wicked little spirits, nor any place for them, except 
some small holes scattered over the top. We were happy 
enough to escape 
their vengeance, 
though we re- 
mained some time 
on the mound to 
enjoy the delight- 
ful prospect of 
the plain, which 
spreads itself out 
until the eye rests 
upon the north- 
west hills at a 
great distance, and 
those of the north- 
east still farther 
off, enlivened by 
large herds of buf- 
falo feeding at a 
distance. The soil 
of these plains is 
exceedingly fine." 
It is noteworthy 
that Spirit Mound 
and other points 
along the Missouri 
in South Dakota then bore the names by which we still 
know them. This is one proof that the region was familiar 
to the French traders before Lewis and Clark came. 

Captain William Clark 

Statue at the Lewis and Clark Exposition, 1903 

SO. PAK. — 3 


On August 27 Lewis and Clark came to the mouth of 
the James River and met some Yankton Sioux there, who 
informed them there was a large camp of the Sioux a 
few miles up the James. The captains, therefore, sent 
messengers to the Indians inviting them to a convenient 
point a few miles up the Missouri. They proceeded up 
the stream and made their camp on Green Island, on the 
Nebraska shore, near the site of Yankton. There they 
remained from Tuesday the 28th until Saturday, Septem- 
ber I, enjoying a grand council, powwow, and carousal 
with the Yanktons. They set up a tall flag pole over their 
camp and raised a beautiful American flag upon it. The 
days were occupied with feasting and speech-making, 
and the nights with feasting and dancing. The principal 
chiefs of the Yankton were Shake Hand, — known to the 
French as the Liberator, — White Crane, and Struck by 
the Pawnee. 

One day a male child was born in one of the Indian 
lodges. Learning of this fact. Captain Lewis sent for the 
child and it was brought to him. He wrapped it in the 
American flag and made a speech in which he prophesied 
that the boy would live to become eminent among his 
people and a great friend of the white men. His prophecy 
came true, for the boy grew up to be the famous Struck 
by the Ree, chief of the Yankton tribe, who was probably 
the means of saving the entire settlement at Yankton 
from massacre in the War of the Outbreak in 1863. All 
his life Struck by the Ree took great pride in his Ameri- 
canism, and in the fact that he was first dressed in an 
American flag. 


On the I St of September the party again embarked 
and proceeded up the stream. The next day they stopped 
to explore the embankment at Bon Homme Island, which 
they believed to be a prehistoric fort, but which has since 
been sho^^'Tl to have been but a bank of sand thrown up 
by the winds and floods. On the 8th they passed the 
Pawnee or Trudeau House which was established in 
1797, and there was no other event of note for several 
days. 1521491 

While Lewis and Clark were at the Vermilion River, 
their two horses had strayed away, and George Shannon, 
the youngest man in the party, had been sent out to hunt 
them up. Sixteen days had since elapsed, during part of 
which the captains had enjoyed their council and carousal 
with the Yanktons, and no word of the toy had come to 
them. They admit, in their journal, that they were be- 
coming uneasy about him. Shannon had found the horses 
and set off up the river. During the first four days he 
used all his bullets and then he nearly starved, being 
obliged to subsist for twelve days on a few grapes and a 
rabbit, which he killed by making use of a hard piece' of 
stick for a bullet. One of the horses gave out and was 
left behind ; the other he kept as a last resource for food. 
Despairing of overtaking the party, he was returning down 
the river in hopes of meeting some other boat, and was on 
the point of killing his horse when he was so fortunate 
as to meet his friends, on the nth of September. 

The party now made their way up the stream, meeting 
no Indians, until the night of the 21st, when they were 
camped on the north side of the Big Bend, having almost 


completed its circuit. Between one and two o'clock in 
the morning they were alarmed by the sergeant on guard, 
who cried out that the sand bar upon which the party were 
camped was sinking. They sprang to the boats and 
pushed over to the opposite shore, but before they had 
reached it, the ground upon which their former camp 
had been had entirely disappeared under the waters. 
The next day they passed the Loisel post on Cedar Island, 
which they describe as being sixty or seventy feet square, 
built of red cedar, and picketed in with the same mate- 
rial; and on the 24th they arrived at the Teton River, 
where, as we shall see in the next chapter, they were to 
remain several days. 



All along the way Lewis and Clark took celestial 
observations to ascertain the latitude and longitude. 
They also kept a record of the temperature, with a mercury 
thermometer made for them in St. Louis by a French 
physician and scientist named Dr. Sauguin. They fell 
in with the doctor when they arrived at St. Louis; and 
he gave them much valuable information and assistance 
and told them how important it was that they should 
have a thermometer. The good captains had not the 
slightest idea what a thermometer was, but the little doctor 
hurried about to find the materials out of which to make 
the instrument. Not in the Mississippi valley could he 
find the glass or the quicksilver, till finally he bethought 
himself of his wife's French plate-glass mirror, and, in 
spite of her protest, he scraped the quicksilver from the 
back of it, melted up the mirror, and made from it the stem 
of the thermometer, into which he poured the quicksilver 
he had scraped from the looking-glass. This was soon 
properly graduated, or scaled to degrees of heat and cold, 
and, judging by what we now know of the temperatures 
of the Missouri valley, was reasonably accurate. From 
such circumstances as the foregoing the student will un- 
derstand how primitive was the outfit of the explorers. 




When Lewis and Clark arrived at the Teton or Bad 
River, near where the village of Fort Pierre is now located, 
they found there a delegation of Indians, about fifty or 
sixty in number, who represented a large camp some two 
or three miles up the Teton River, These Indians were 
Minneconjou Tetons, a branch of the Sioux, under the 

leadership of Black 
Buffalo, a man 
quite famous in his 
time. Pierre Do- 
rion, the guide to 
the expedition, had 
been left at Yank- 
ton for the purpose 
of taking a party of 
Yankton chiefs 
down to Washing- 
ton to council with 
the President, so the 
party was without 
an interpreter, ex- 
cept a French boat- 
man who could 
speak very little 
Sioux and no Eng- 
lish. Communication with the Indians was therefore 
difficult and unsatisfactory. 

It was not the intention of the captains to stop long 
with the Tetons, for they bore a bad reputation, and it is 

Jefferson Medal given to a Chief by 
Lewis and Clark 

From " Wonderland," 1900 



evident that the explorers were more or less afraid of them ; 
so they held a hasty council, made a speech, smoked a 
pipe, and prepared to go on. As had been done at Yank- 
ton, each of the chiefs was given a medal, a United States 
flag, a laced uniform coat, a cocked hat and feather, and 
some small presents were distributed among the other 
men. Each of the Indians was given also a quarter of 
a glass of whisky, which they seemed to like very much. 

But when the party made ready to proceed up the river, 
the Indians promptly protested. Three of them seized 
the cable which held the boat, and another put his arms 
around the mast. Lewis and Clark were told flatly 
that they could not go on. The Indians stood about, drew 
their arrows from the quivers, and were bending their bows, 
when Captain Clark drew his sword and made a signal to 
the boat to prepare for action. The httle cannon, called 
a swivel gun, which was mounted on the bow of his boat, 
was swung about so as to cover the Indians, and twelve 
of the men sprang to the assistance of Captain Clark. 
This action had the desired effect, for the Indians with- 
drew for a council. The party got off with the boats, but 
two of the Indians waded in after them and were taken on 
board. They went out into the stream and anchored off 
Marion's Island, which they named Bad Humored Island, 

The next morning the chiefs sent a message to them 
expressing sorrow for the occurrence of the previous day 
and desiring them to remain over for a feast and council, 
which the captains determined to do. Captains Lewis 
and Clark were each met at the shore by ten young men. 



with a robe highly decorated, and were carried in state, on 
these robes, to a large council house, where they were placed 
on dressed buffalo skins by the side of the grand chief. 

The hall or council room was in the shape of three 
quarters of a circle, covered at the top and sides with 

A Modern Camp of the Sioux 

skins well dressed and sewed together. Under this 
shelter sat about seventy men, forming a circle about the 
chiefs, before whom were placed a Spanish and a United 
States flag. There was left a vacant circle about six feet 
in diameter in which the pipe of peace was raised on two 
forked sticks about six or eight inches from the ground 
and under it the down of the swan was scattered. Near by 
was a large lire on which provisions were cooking. 


There was now a long council of talk, and then a great 
feast was served; it consisted largely of dog meat, this 
being a favorite dish among the Sioux and used in all 
festivals. There was also a preparation of buffalo meat 
and potatoes of which the captains partook, but they say 
that as yet they could eat only sparingly of the dog. 

Thus the day was passed until twilight, when ever}^thing 
was cleared away for the dance. A large fire had been 
made in the center of the house, giving at once light and 
warmth to the ballroom. The orchestra was composed 
chiefly of ten men who played on a sort of drum or tam- 
bourine formed of skin stretched across a hoop, and made a 
jinghng noise with a stick to which the hoofs of deer and 
goats were hung. A third musical instrument was a small 
skin bag with pebbles in it. Five or six young men also 

The women came forward highly decorated, some with 
poles in their hands on which were hung the scalps of 
their enemies, others with guns, spears, or other trophies 
taken in war by their husbands, brothers, or other rela- 
tions. Having arranged themselves in two columns, 
one on each side of the fire, as soon as the music began 
they danced toward each other till they met in the center, 
when the rattles were shaken, they all shouted, and then 
returned to their places. In the pauses of the dance 
some man would come forward and recite in a low gut- 
tural tone a little story or incident, either martial or ludi- 
crous. This was taken up by the orchestra, who repeated 
it in a higher strain, while the women danced to it. The 
dances of the men were always separate from those of 



the women ; they were conducted in very nearly the same 
way, except that the men jumped up and down instead 
of shuffling as did the women. 

The harmony of the entertainment was disturbed by 
one of the musicians, who, thinking he had not received 
his due share of the tobacco presented by the captains, 

put himself into 
a passion, broke 
one of the drums, 
threw two of them 
into the fire, and 
then left the band. 
But no notice was 
taken of the man's 
conduct, and the 
dance was kept 
up till midnight; 
then four chiefs 
escorted the cap- 
tains to their 
boats and re- 
mained over night 
with them on 

The captains 
took close notice of many of the habits, customs, laws, 
and fashions of the Sioux, which they set down in their 
journal. The following quoted at large from their journal 
is of great interest as indicating one of the police customs 
of the Sioux in their primitive life : — 


Sioux Squaw in Native Dress (Modern) 


"While on shore to-day we witnessed a quarrel between 
two squaws, which appeared to be growing every moment 
more boisterous, when a man came forv/ard, at whose 
approach every one seemed terrified and ran. He took 
the squaws and without any ceremony whipped them 
severely. On inquiring into the nature of such summary 
justice we learned that this man was an officer well known 
to this and many other tribes. His duty is to keep the 
peace, and the whole interior police of the village is con- 
fided to two or three of these ofhcers, who are named by 
the chief and remain in power some days, at least till 
the chief appoints a successor. They seem to be a sort 
of constable or sentinel, since they are always on the watch 
to keep tranquillity during the day and guard the camp 
in the night. The short duration of the office is com- 
pensated by its authority. His power is supreme, and in 
the suppression of any riot or disturbance no resistance 
to him is suffered; his person is sacred, and if in the 
execution of his duty he strikes even a chief of the second 
class, he cannot be punished for this salutary insolence. 
In general he accompanies the person of the chief, and 
when ordered to any duty, however dangerous, it is a 
point of honor rather to die than to refuse obedience. 
Thus, when they attempted to stop us yesterday, the chief 
ordered one of these men to take possession of the boat; 
he immediately put his arms around the mast, and, as we 
understood, no force except the command of the chief 
would have induced him to release his hold. Like the 
other men his body is blackened, but his distinguish- 
ing mark is a collection of two or three raven skins 


fixed to the girdle beliind the back in such a way that the 
tails stick out' horizontally from the body. On his head, 
too, is a raven skin split into two parts and tied so as to 
let the beak project from the forehead." 

The next morning when the captains' royal guests 
arose, they carefully wrapped up the blanket upon which 
they had slept and carried it away with them. There was 
nothing irregular about this, and it is the custom of the 
Teton Sioux to this day. When an Indian is invited to 
a feast, it is his privilege to carry away all the remnants 
left upon the table, and if he remains over night, he takes 
with him, as a matter of course, the blankets upon which 
he has slept. 

So pleased were the captains with the entertainment 
they had received, that they decided to remain for another 
day of it, and traditions of that day of dance and feast 
and carousal are still handed down among the descendants 
of the Tetons who took part in it. Captain Clark was 
accompanied by his personal servant, a colored man 
named York, who was a great curiosity to the Indians. 
York was intensely black and the Indians were very 
greatly astonished when they discovered that they could 
not wash the color off. He was a man of wonderful 
strength and in this day's entertainment he won the un- 
bounded admiration of the Indians by his exhibitions of 

However, it was necessary to bring the fete to a close, 
and on Friday, the 28th of September, the captains de- 
termined to proceed on their journey. But when the time 
for starting came, the Indians were as unwilling to have 


them go as they had been in the first place. A long line 
of the warriors sat down upon the cable which held the 
boats to the shore, and it was only with threats and coaxing 
and bribery that they were finally induced to let the party 
proceed. Black Buffalo accompanied them, intending 
to go to the Rees with them, but when up in the neigh- 
borhood of the Cheyenne River, the boat in which he was 
riding struck a log and came very near overturning. 
This mishap greatly alarmed the old chief, who demanded 
that he be placed upon the shore. His demand was 
granted and he returned to his people. 

At the mouth of the Cheyenne the party found a trad- 
ing post operated by John Valle, a St. Louis trader, 
who told them that he had passed the last winter three 
hundred leagues up the Cheyenne River near the Black 

On October 8 the party reached the Ree villages at 
Grand River. There they found several French traders — 
Pierre Garreau, who had then resided with the Rees for 
fourteen years, Mr. Gravelines, and a Mr. Tabeau. 
Several councils were held, and the usual presents given. 
Supposing that it would be as agreeable to the Rees as 
to the other Indians, the white men offered them whisky, 
but they indignantly refused it, saying that "they were 
surprised that their Father would present them a liquor 
which would make them fools." The explorers remained 
with the Rees two days and seem to have had a most 
enjoyable time. 

On the 13th, having proceeded up the river, they passed 
the mouth of Spring Creek, in what is now Campbell 



County, and named it Stone Idol Creek, because they were • 
told that a few miles back from the Missouri there were 

two stones re- 
sembling human 
figures and a third 
which looked hke 
a dog, and that 
these stones were 
worshiped by the 
Rees. The In- 
dians told this leg- 
end of these rocks: 
' ' A young man was 
deeply in love with 
a girl whose par- 
ents refused their 
consent to the mar- 
riage. The youth 
went out on the 
prairie to mourn 
over his hard fate. 
A sympathy of feel- 
ing led the lady to 
the same spot, and 
the faithful dog 

would not cease to 
follow his master. 
After wandering 
together and having nothing to live on but grapes they 
were at last changed into stone, which beginning at their 


Clark in 1805-06 

Statue at the Lewis and Clark Exposition, 1903 


feet gradually invaded the nobler parts, leaving nothing 
unchanged but a bunch of grapes which the woman holds 
in her hands to this day. Whenever the Rees pass these 
sacred stones, they stop to make some offering of dress 
to propitiate the gods." 

On that day Lewis and Clark passed out of what is 
now South Dakota. They went on that autumn as far 
as the Mandan villages above Bismarck on the Mis- 
souri, where they built a post and spent the winter. The 
next year, 1805, with great hardship, they crossed the 
mountains and reached the Pacific Ocean. Remaining 
at the mouth of the Columbia until spring, they turned 
back and reached the north line of South Dakota on the 
2ist day of August, 1806, precisely two years from the 
date when they entered South Dakota on the upward 
trip. They stopped with the Rees for a short visit, but 
hastened by the Teton country without attracting atten- 
tion. They had no desire to meet Black Buffalo, fearing 
that he would again attempt to detain them. The Yank- 
tons were friendly, but they spent httle time with them, 
being in great haste to reach civilization again. At Elk- 
point they met Mr. James Aird carrying goods to the Yank- 
tons, and he supplied them with provisions of which they 
were in great need, and gave them the first information 
they had had from the outside world for more than two 
years. They reached St. Louis early in September, 
and their return was a source of great rejoicing to all the 
people of the United States. 



When Lewis and Clark returned down the Missouri, 
they induced Big White, a chief of the Mandan tribe, 
with his wife and children, to accompany them to Washing- 
ton. Rene Jesseaume, a French- 
man long known on the frontier, 
and his Mandan wife went along 
as interpreters. These Indians 
were taken to Washington, 
where the appearance of 
Big White created a great 
sensation. He was an ex- 
traordinarily large man, 
nearly seven feet high, and 
as white as an albino. 
He was received by Presi- 
dent Jefferson and made 
much of by Washington 

In the spring of 1807 Big White was to return to his 
people, and Lewis and Clark had pledged the faith of 
the United States government that he should have safe 
conduct to his home. Captain Clark came back to St. 


A Mandan Chief 



Louis uith him, and there fitted out an expedition under 
the command of Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor, who had been 
a prominent member of the exploring party. Pryor had 
in his command two noncommissioned officers and eleven 
soldiers. Pierre Chouteau, Sr., with a trading party of 
thirty-two men, bound for trade on the head waters of 
the Missouri, also accompanied the expedition. Earlier 
in the season Manuel Lisa, a well-known Spanish trader 
of that day, had gone up the river with a party of traders 
and their suppHes. 

Pryor and his party left St. Louis in ISIay, 1807. Pro- 
ceeding prosperously, although slowly, and passing all of 
the lower Sioux bands in safety, they reached the lower of 
the two Ree villages at Grand River on the morning 
of September 9. The Rees tired several guns in the direc- 
tion of the boats. Pierre Dorion, who accompanied the 
expedition as interpreter, asked what they wanted. The 
Indians replied by inviting the party ashore to obtain 
a supply of provisions. The kind treatment Lewis and 
Clark had received from the Rees the year before threw 
the party off their guard, and the boats were ordered to 

At the Ree village it was learned that the Rees and 
Mandans were at war with each other and that several 
of the Teton Sioux bands were joined with the Rees and 
were present in the village. A Mandan woman who had 
been captive among the Rees for several years came on 
board one of the boats and gave the whites some impor- 
tant information. She said that Lisa had passed up a few 
days before and when he found that the Rees intended 

so. DAK. — 4 


to stop him, he told them that a large party of whites, 
with the Mandan chief, would soon arrive; and after 
giving them a large part of his goods, including some 
guns, he was allowed to go on. The Rees made up their 
minds to kill Lisa upon his return, but let him pass for 
the present for fear rumors of their acts and intentions 
might reach the parties below and cause them to turn 
back. She warned the white men that the Rees were 
bent on mischief. 

Sergeant Pryor at once ordered Big White to barricade 
himself in his cabin, and prepared his men for action. 
After a good deal of parleying and speechmaking, Pryor 
explained the purpose of his journey, and after making 
some presents he was allowed to go on to the upper 

The two interpreters, Dorion and Jesseaume, went by 
land through the villages, and they learned that the Indians 
clearly had evil intentions. The Indians ordered the boats 
to proceed up a narrow channel near the shore, but the 
whites discovered the trap in time and refused to comply. 
The Rees now openly declared that they intended to 
detain the boats, saying that Lisa had promised them that 
Pryor's party would remain and trade with them. They 
seized the cable of Chouteau's boat and ordered Pryor 
to go on. This Pryor refused to do, but seeing the des- 
perate state of affairs, he urged Chouteau to make some 
concessions to them. Chouteau offered to leave a trader 
and half of the goods with them, but the Indians, feeling 
sure that they could capture the whole of the outfit, re- 
fused the offer. 


The chief of the upper village now came on Pryor's 
boat and demanded that Big White go on shore with him. 
With great insolence he demanded a surrender of all arms 
and ammunition. The chief, to whom a medal had been 
given, threw it on the ground, and one of Chouteau's 
men was struck down with a gun. Raising a general 
war whoop, the Rees fired on the boats and on Chouteau 
and a few of his men who were on shore, and then with- 
drew to a fringe of willows along the bank, some fifty 
yards back. The willows were more of a concealment 
than a protection, and Pryor replied with the fire of his 
entire force. The contest was maintained for fifteen 
minutes, but the number of Indians was so great that 
Pryor ordered a retreat. 

To retreat was a very hard thing to do, for Chouteau's 
barge had stuck fast on a bar and the men were compelled 
to wade in the water and drag it for some distance, all the 
while under the fire of the Indians. At length the boats 
were gotten off and floated down the current, the Indians 
following along the bank. It was not until sunset that 
the pursuit was abandoned by the Indians, and then only 
on account of the serious wounding of Black Buffalo, 
the Teton Sioux who had entertained and quarreled with 
Lewis and Clark at the site of Fort Pierre three years 

This was the first engagement between troops of the 
United States and Indians upon Dakota soil. Three of 
Chouteau's men were killed, and seven wounded, one 
mortally. Three of Pryor's men were wounded, among 
them the boy, George Shannon, who was lost for a time 


while hunting Lewis and Clark's horses in August, 1804. 
He was so severely wounded that his right leg had to be 
amputated by Dr. Sauguin, the man who made the ther- 
mometer, when he returned to St. Louis. Shannon later 
studied law and became a successful lawyer of Lexington, 
Missouri, and a judge of his district. 

The party with Big White returned to St. Louis, and it 
was not until 1809 that the government succeeded, at 
great expense, in getting him back safely to his people. 



The information brought back by Lewis and Clark 
regarding the vast extent of the fur-bearing country through 
which they had traveled, caused great activity among the 
fur merchants of St. Louis, and they immediately organ- 
ized for the purpose of trade with the Indian tribes upon 
the head waters of the Missouri River and in the Rocky 
Mountains. The most prominent of these traders were 
Pierre Chouteau and Manuel Lisa, the men of whom we 
learned in the story of the return of Big White. They 
were prompt in entering the country and claiming prior 
rights in its occupancy. 

The great king of all the American fur trade was John 
Jacob Astor of New York city. When the reports of 
Lewis and Clark's successful trip came to Astor, he im- 
mediately determined to establish a great fur depot on 
the Pacific coast at the mouth of the Columbia River, 
and to dispatch two expeditions to that point, one to go 
by sea around South America, the other to go overland. 
The overland expedition was placed in charge of a famous 
fur merchant of that time, Walter Price Hunt of Jersey 

Hunt began to recruit his men for the enterprise at 



Montreal, securing there many of the best-trained fur 
men from the Hudson Bay and Northwestern employment. 
He went on to Mackinaw, where he secured other trained 
wilderness rangers, and thence went to St. Louis, where 
he purposed to lay in his supphes and employ additional 
men. He reached St. Louis in the autumn of 1810. 
There he met with the most violent opposition from the 
St. Louis merchants, who were very jealous of Astor. 
They refused to sell Hunt any goods and used every 
means to prevent men from going upon his errand. 

In this opposition no one was more active than the 
Spaniard, Manuel Lisa. It was important to Hunt to 
secure a guide and interpreter who was thoroughly fa- 
miliar with the upper Missouri, and he found such a man 
in Pierre Dorion, Jr., son of the old guide to Lewis and 
Clark. Dorion was a half Sioux, born at Yankton and 
familiar with all of the Indians residing on the Missouri 
River. However, he was in the employment of Lisa, 
and that made it particularly hard for Hunt to secure his 
services. It was the policy of all of the fur merchants to 
keep their employes in debt to them, and Dorion was 
deeply indebted to Lisa for whisky he had purchased 
and consumed. Lisa was not slow to see that Hunt was 
tampering with his man, and he coaxed, scolded, and 
finally threatened Dorion's arrest for the whisky debt. 
This had the desired effect, and Dorion refused to accom- 
pany Hunt. 

To keep his men away from the influence of the St. 
Louis merchants, Hunt moved his expedition some 400 
miles up the Missouri late in the autumn, and there 



made a winter camp. Toward spring he returned to St. 
Louis to recruit more men, and again entered into nego- 
tiations with Dorion, who agreed to accompany him into 
the wilderness. . Learning of this, Lisa got out a war- 
rant for Dorion's arrest on the whisky debt, but Dorion 
escaped into the brush and, after travehng a long and 
circuitous route, joined Hunt far up the river. Hunt 
went with all haste to his camp, quickly made ready for 
the voyage, and finally, on the 27th of April, 181 1, set 
off up the river in four boats, one of which was of large 
size and mounted two swivels and a howitzer. He was 
aware when he left St. Louis that Lisa was about ready to 
embark for the head waters of the Missouri, and he had 
every reason to believe that Lisa was now in close pursuit. 
Hunt's party got along prosperously and reached the 
mouth of the Big Sioux River on the 15th of May. On 
the 23d they had reached the sharp bend in the IMissouri 
between the site of Springfield and Bon Homme Island, 
when they were overtaken by a messenger from Lisa, who 
informed them that Lisa had passed their winter encamp- 
ment nineteen days after they had left, and that he was 
then at the Omaha village opposite the mouth of the Big 
Sioux ; that he had a large boat manned with twenty oars- 
men, and that he had set out to overtake the Astorians at 
any cost. The messenger said that the Teton Sioux were 
hostile, being excited by the religious craze inspired by 
the teaching of the Shawnee Prophet, which had reached 
all of the tribes in the Mississippi and Missouri valleys, 
and that Lisa wished to join his expedition with the 
Astorians for mutual protection while passing through the 


hostile country. Hunt sent back word to Lisa that he 
would await Lisa's arrival at the Ponca village at the 
mouth of the Niobrara ; but no sooner had the messen- 
ger disappeared downstream, than Hunt redoubled his 
energy to pass through the Sioux country in advance of 
Lisa, for he feared that Lisa would use his well-known 
influence with the Indians to excite hostilities against the 
Astorians. Hunt was in a state of terror, and it is hard 
to tell which he feared most, Lisa or the Indians he was 
pretty certain to meet in the Dakota country. 

By the morning of the 31st of May Hunt had arrived 
in the neighborhood of the Big Bend, when the whole 
party were almost scared out of their wits by the approach 
of a large body of Sioux, who came racing down the river 
bank as if to intercept their passage. They were under 
the lead of our old friend Black Buffalo. They informed 
the white men that they were at war with the Rees and 
Mandans, and would not permit ammunition and guns 
to be taken to their enemies. Hunt explained to them 
that he was not looking for trade on the Missouri, but was 
going to cross the mountains to the Pacific coast; this sat- 
isfied Black Buffalo, who allowed the white men to pass 
on. They, however, met several other bands of Sioux in 
the next day or two, and were kept in a constant state of 
alarm. Just as they rounded the Big Bend they met a 
party of Rees, who greeted them most cordially. After 
spending a night with the whites, the Rees set off hot foot 
for their home on Grand River, to inform their people of 
the approach of the boats. 

At the very moment when the Rees disappeared up 


river, Manuel Lisa and his party were seen coming around 
the bend. This threw Hunt and his party into a new ter- 
ror, but Manuel greeted them civilly and for two days con- 
tinued to travel in their company, showing no disposition 
to pass them, though they feared that he would go on and 
excite the Rees against them. 

On the 5th of June both parties were encamped ofi-^fe« p\ 
site— of- the present citv of^ Pierre. It was a wet, dis- 
agreeable day, and they had decided to lie over for rest 
until the weather cleared up. From the moment of Lisa's 
arrival Pierre Dorion had kept aloof and regarded him 
most sullenly. During this day in camp the wily Spaniard 
decided to make up with Dorion, and invited him on his 
boat. After regaling him with whisky Lisa asked him to 
quit the service of Hunt and return to him. This Pierre 
refused to do. Finding that Pierre could not be moved 
by soft words, Lisa called to his mind the old whisky 
debt and threatened to carry him off by force in payment 
of it. A violent quarrel occurred between him and Lisa, 
and he left the boat in great anger and went directly to 
the tent of Mr. Hunt and told him of Lisa's threat. 

While Dorion was telling Hunt his story, Lisa entered 
the tent, pretending that he had come to borrow a towing 
line. High words followed between him and Dorion, 
and the half-breed struck him. a hard blow. Lisa imme- 
diately rushed to his boat for a weapon ; Dorion snatched 
up a pair of pistols belonging to Mr. Hunt and placed 
himself in battle array. The loud voices aroused the 
camp, and every one pressed up to know the cause. 
Lisa reappeared with a knife stuck in his girdle. Dorion's 


pistols gave him the advantage, and he kept up a most 
warHke attitude. A scene of uproar and hubbub ensued, 
which defies description; the men of each party sided 
with their employer, and every one seemed anxious for 
blood except Hunt, who used every effort to prevent a gen- 
eral melee. In the midst of the brawl Lisa called Hunt 
a bad name and in an instant Hunt's quiet spirit was 
inflamed. He wanted to fight Lisa and his whole com- 
pany, and challenged the Spaniard to settle the matter 
on the spot with pistols. Lisa, nothing loath, went to his 
boat to arm himself for the duel. 

Two eminent scientists, Bradbury and Brakenridge, 
who accompanied the expeditions, now returned from a 
search for specimens just in time to interfere and un- 
doubtedly to prevent bloodshed. But while they did 
prevent a fight, they could not bring the two parties to a 
friendly understanding, and all intercourse between them 
ceased. They started on, keeping on opposite sides of 
the river, each party determined, if the other showed bad 
faith by attempting to go ahead to the Ree camp, to resort 
to arms to prevent it. Thus they skirted along until they 
were close to the Ree towns on Grand River. Lisa then 
sent Mr. Brakenridge over to the Astorians to arrange a 
joint meeting with the Rees with due ceremony. Hunt, 
still suspicious, refused to have anything to do in common 
with the Spaniard, but upon the representations of Mr. 
Brakenridge finally consented, and it was arranged that 
both parties should go to the village at the same time. 

Here Hunt decided to leave the river and start across 
country to the Pacific by way of the Grand River route. 


To enable him to do this it was necessary to buy a large 
number of horses of the Rees. He told his purpose in the 
first council held, but the chief Left Hand said it would 
be impossible for them to supply so many horses as were 
needed. Here Gray Eyes, another chief, interrupted to 
say that the matter could be easily arranged, for if they had 
not enough horses to supply the requirements of the white 
men, they could easily steal more, and putting this honest 
expedient into practice they soon had all the horses Hunt 
needed. Hunt remained with the Rees until the i8th 
of July, when, being fully equipped, he set out for the Pa- 
cific. Going up Grand River, he crossed through the 
northern part of the Black Hills, being the first to explore 
that region, and after great hardship and suffering reached 
the mouth of the Columbia. Lisa, having traded out his 
wares to the Rees for furs, set out for St. Louis about the 
same time that Hunt departed. 










While the parties of Hunt and Lisa were staying at the 
Ree towns, a great patriotic celebration occurred there, 
which is described in detail by Washington Irving. No 
one of the pretentious towns or cities of to-day could 
welcome her sons home from the wars with more pomp 
and circumstance, more of feasting and rejoicings, than 
did these primitive South Dakotans. 

"On the 9th of July, just before daybreak, a great 
noise and vociferation was heard in the village. This 
being the usual Indian hour of attack and surprise, and 
the Sioux being known to be in the neighborhood, the 
camp was instantly on the alert. As the day broke 
Indians were descried in considerable number on the 
bluffs three or four miles down the river. The noise and 
agitation in the village continued. The tops of the 
lodges were crowded with the inhabitants, all earnestly 
looking toward the hills and keeping up a vehement 
chattering. Presently an Indian warrior galloped past 
the camp [of Mr. Hunt] toward the village, and in a 
little while the legions began to pour forth. 

"The truth of the matter was now ascertained. The 
Indians upon the distant hills were three hundred Arick- 



ara [Ree] braves returning from a foray. They had 
met the war party of Sioux who had been so long hovering 
about the neighborhood, had fought them the day be- 
fore [that is, July 8, 1811], killed several, and defeated 
the rest, with the loss of but two or three of their own 
men and about a dozen wounded; and they were now 
halting at a distance until their comrades in the village 
should come forth to meet them and swell the parade of 
their triumphal entry. The warrior who had galloped 
past the camp was the leader of the party hastening home 
to give tidings of his victory. 

"Preparations were now made for this great martial 
ceremony. All the finery and equipments of the warriors 
were sent forth to them, that they might appear to the 
greatest advantage. Those, too, who had remained at 
home tasked their wardrobes and toilets to do honor to 
the procession. 

"The Arickaras generally go naked, but, like all sav- 
ages, they have their gala dress, of which they are not a 
little vain. This usually consists of a gray surcoat and 
leggings of the dressed skin of the antelope, resembling 
chamois leather, and embroidered with porcupine quills 
brilliantly dyed. A buffalo robe is thrown over the right 
shoulder, and across the left is slung a quiver of arrows. 
They wear gay coronets of plumes, particularly those of 
the swan; but the leathers of the black eagle are con- 
sidered the most worthy, being a sacred bird among the 
Indian warriors. He who has killed an enemy in his 
own land is entitled to drag at his heels a fox skin attached 
to each moccasin, and he who has slain a grizzly bear 



wears a necklace of his claws, the most glorious trophy 
that a hunter can exhibit. 

"An Indian toilet is an operation of some toil and 
trouble ; the warrior often has to paint himself from head 
to foot, and is extremely capricious and difficult to please 
as to the hideous distribution of streaks and colors. A 
great part of the morning, therefore, passed away before 
there were any signs of the distant pageant. In the mean- 
time a profound stillness reigned over the village. Most 
of the inhabitants had gone forth ; others remained in mute 
expectation. All sports and occupations were suspended, 
excepting that in the lodges the painstaking squaws were 
silently busied in preparing the repasts for the warriors. 

"It was near noon that a mingled sound of voices and 
rude music, faintly heard from the distance, gave notice 
that the procession was on the march. The old men, and 
such of the squaws as could leave their employments, 
hastened forth to meet it. In a little while it emerged from 
behind a hill, and had a wild and picturesque appearance 
as it came moving over the summit in measured step and 
to the cadence of songs and savage instruments ; the war- 
like standards and trophies flaunting aloft, and the 
feathers and paint and silver ornaments of the warriors 
glaring and glittering in the sunshine. 

"The pageant had really something chivalrous in its 
arrangement. The Arickaras are divided into several 
bands, each bearing the name of some animal or bird, 
as the buffalo, the bear, the dog, the pheasant. The 
present party consisted of four of these bands, one of 
which was the dog, the most esteemed in war, being com- 


posed of voung men under tliirty and noted for their 
prowess. It is engaged on the most desperate occasions. 
The bands marched in separate bodies under their several 
leaders. The warriors on foot came first, in platoons of 
ten or twelve abreast; then the horsemen. Each band 
bore as an ensign a spear or bow decorated with beads, 
porcupine quills, and painted feathers. Each bore its 
trophies of scalps, elevated on poles, their long black 
locks streaming in the wind. Each was accompanied 
by its rude music and minstrelsy. In this way the pro- 
cession extended nearly a quarter of a mile. The warriors 
were variously armed, some few with guns, others with 
bows and arrows and war clubs ; all had shields of buffalo 
hide, a kind of defense generally used by the Indians of 
the open prairie, who have not the covert of trees and for- 
ests to protect them. They were painted in the most sav- 
age style. Some had the stamp of a red hand across 
their mouths, a sign that they had drunk the life blood of 
a foe. 

"Ws they drew near to the village the old men and the 
women began to meet them, and now a scene ensued that 
proved the fallacy of the old fable of Indian apathy and 
stoicism. Parents and children, husbands and wives, 
brothers and sisters, met with the most rapturous ex- 
pressions of joy; while wailings and lamentations were 
heard from the relatives of the killed and wounded. The 
procession, however, continued on with slow and measured 
step, in cadence to the solemn chant, and the warriors 
maintained their fixed and stern demeanor. 

"Between two of the principal chiefs rode a young war- 


rior who had distinguished himself in the battle. He 
was severely wounded, so as with difficulty to keep on his 
horse, but he preserved a serene and steadfast countenance, 
as if perfectly unharmed. His mother had heard of his 
condition. She broke through the throng and, rushing up, 
threw her arms around him and wept aloud. He kept up 
the spirit and demeanor of a warrior to the last, but ex- 
pired shortly after he had reached his home. 

"The village was now a scene of the utmost festivity 
and triumph. The banners and trophies and scalps and 
painted shields were elevated on poles near the lodges. 
There were war feasts and scalp dances, with warlike songs 
and savage music; all the inhabitants were arrayed in 

p their festal dresses ; while the old heralds went round from 
lodge to lodge, promulgating with loud voices the events 

ft of the battle and the exploits of the various warriors. 

K "Such was the boisterous revelry of the village," 

P Irving continues ; " but sounds of another kind were heard 
on the surrounding hills : piteous wailings of the women 
who had retired thither to mourn in darkness and solitude 
for those who had fallen in battle. There the poor mother 
of the youthful warrior who had returned home in triumph 
but to die gave full vent to the anguish of a mother's 
heart. How much does this custom among the Indian 
women, of repairing to the hilltops in the night and 
pouring forth their wailings for the dead, call to mind the 
beautiful and affecting passage of Scripture, 'In Rama 
was there a voice heard, lamentation and weeping and 
great mourning; Rachel weeping for her children, and 
would not be comforted because they are not.' " 

so. DAK. — 5 


Those of the readers of this history who recall the great 
festival throughout South Dakota upon the return of the 
First Regiment from the Philippine war will appreciate 
the fact that it was entirely in line with a time-honored 
precedent among the people of the South Dakota land. 



When the second war with England began in 1812, 
British interests in the Northwest were placed under the 
general control of Major Robert Dickson, a bluff old Scotch 
fur trader, who was married to a Flathead Sioux woman 
whose home was on Elm River in what is now Brown 
County, South Dakota. It was the British purpose to 
enlist the Sioux and other western tribes in their behalf 
to make war on the Americans. Dickson's wife was the 
sister of Red Thunder, chief of the Flatheads, and this 
chief and his seventeen-year-old son, together with twenty- 
two Sissetons from South Dakota, at once entered the 
British service. In the early spring of 181 3 they went 
down, with many other Indians, to Mackinaw, which was 
the headquarters of the British in the West, and thence 
proceeded against the American post, Fort Meigs, on the 
Maumee River in northern Ohio. 

The siege of Fort ]Meigs was maintained for some 
time, when a party of volunteer Americans from Kentucky 
appeared on the ground and the British were compelled 
to give up their intentions upon the post. Dickson held 
a council with the Indians and proposed that they should 
proceed at once against Fort Stephenson, an American 



post on the Sandusky River. This was agreed to and 
they embarked in their canoes down the Maumee, but 
when they arrived at the mouth of the river, Itasapa, the 
head chief of all of the Sioux Indian expedition, turned 
the prow of his canoe up the lake toward Detroit, instead 
of turning south toward the Sandusky. 

Dickson and other officers hurried to the front and 
demanded to know the chief's intentions. Itasapa said 
he was going to take his warriors back to the Mississippi, 
and nothing that Dickson or the English could do could 
persuade him to change his mind. He resolutely kept on 
toward Detroit, and the other tribes, seeing the Sioux 
deserting, followed their example; only Red Thunder, 
his young son, and -sixteen of the Sissetons remained to 
support the English in their attempt on Fort Stephenson. 

It seemed as if th^se warriors who remained loyal to 
the English attempted, at Fort Stephenson, to make up 
for the desertion of their countrymen ; they fought with 
extraordinary bravery, but no one of them so distinguished 
himself as did Dickson's nephew, the Flathead young boy 
from South Dakota. He fought like a tiger, and, forget- 
ting the Indian cunning and custom of concealing one's 
self from the enemy, he charged again and again in the 
open, and his relatives at once named him _Waneta,l which 
means " the charger." It does not seem that up to this 
time he had any name, but his new name he held during 
the rest of his long life, -i^t the charge upon Fort Stephen- 
son Waneta received nine gunshot wounds, but survived 
them all and as long as he lived he wore in his hair 
nine small sticks painted red, as tokens of the wounds he \ 

'' i 


had received. Waneta continued to serve the Enghsh 
interests until the close of the war, when he was called 
to the English headquarters, which had been transferred 
to Drummond Island in Lake Huron, and given a cap- 
tain's commission and 
a fine uniform. There 
is a tradition among the 
Sissetons and Flatheads 
that he was taken to 
England and presented 
to the king, but this is 
probably not true. At 
any rate he came back 
to his home in Dakota, 
where he remained for 
many years entirely 
loyal to the British 
government. JNIost of 
the other Indians had 
very promptly turned 
over to the American 

When in 181 9 the 
government began the 
military settlement at the head of navigation on the Mis- 
sissippi, which resulted in the founding of Fort Snclling, 
Waneta, as a good British subject, went down to see what 
was going on and protest against the enterprise. He 
remained about the post for several weeks, and became 
acquainted with the officers and men and all of the cabins 




and arrangements within and without the post. He then 
entered into a conspiracy to surprise the post and destroy 
the garrison, but as he was about to carry it into execution, 
Colonel Snelling, then in command, got information of it. 
SnelHng promptly arrested Waneta, took him into the post, 
and put him through a sweating process which thoroughly 
naturalized him. Colonel SneUing took his British med- 
als and flags away from him, destroyed them before his 
eyes, and compelled him to swear allegiance to the Ameri- 
can flag. Waneta came out from the fort thoroughly re- 
formed in his views, and for the rest of his life was as proud 
of his Americanism as he formerly had been of his English 

When Major Long, in 1823, was sent out by the govern- 
ment to establish the boundary line between the United 
States and Canada where the Red River crosses the line, 
Waneta met him at Big Stone Lake, where he had pre- 
pared a great ovation for the military. He was dressed for 
the occasion in a magnificent array of finery in which he 
had combined the most striking features of civilized and 
savage clothing. In 1825 he signed the trade and inter- 
course treaty at Fort Pierre, and a few weeks later, signed 
the boundary treaty at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. In 
1832 Catlin found him at Fort Pierre, where he painted a 
fine likeness of him. 

Waneta was easilv the most able and the most dis- 
tinguished chief of all the Sioux nation of his period. He 
was shrewd, crafty, and diplomatic. After the conquest 
of the Rees in 1823, Waneta removed his home from 
the Elm River, in northern South Dakota, to the mouth 


of the Warreconne River (Beaver Creek) on the Mis- 
souri, in southern North Dakota, v^here he set up a pro- 
tectorate over the Rees. He compelled them to pay him 
tribute in corn and horses and furs, which enabled him 
to live in great ease and splendor, and in consideration of 
this he protected the Rees from the Sioux tribes. He 
died in 1848 and was buried on the east bank of the 
Missouri River opposite Fort Rice in North Dakota. 



Captain William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark 
expedition, had before 1812 become General Clark, 
Indian agent and commander of the militia of the upper 
Louisiana territory (later called Missouri territory), which 
included South Dakota and all of the American Northwest. 
When Manuel Lisa, the wily Spanish trader, returned to 
St. Louis from his famous boat race to the Ree towns in 
the summer of 18 11, he reported to General Clark that 
"the Wampum was carrying by British influence along 
the banks of the Missouri, and all the nations of this great 
river were excited to join the universal confederacy, then 
setting on foot, of which The Prophet was the instrument 
and the British traders the soul." 

At this time the Sioux Indians of the Mississippi River 
were wholly under the influence of the British traders 
from Canada, from whom they obtained their goods. 
On the other hand, the Sioux Indians of the Missouri 
River were under the influence of the French Americans 
from St. Louis, with whom they traded. It was the 
British policy to secure the assistance of the Dakota Sioux 
in the War of 181 2, first for whatever assistance they might 
be able to render in the war, but chiefly that through 




the alliance the British might secure the Dakota trade. 
Manuel saw this and at once imparted to General Clark 
a scheme by which he beheved not only that the Dakota 
trade could be held for the Americans, but that the Missis- 
sippi Sioux as well could be made of no value to the Eng- 
lish. General Clark was pleased with the plan and gave 
the execution of it to the Spaniard, who, however bad his 
principles may have been as a trader, was always a loyal 

Lisa was made the American agent for all of the Indians 
on the upper Missouri. He came among them and estab- 
lished a strong post somewhere in the vicinity of the Big 
Bend. It may have been on American Island at 
Chamberlain, and it may have been upon Cedar Island 
just above the bend. Here he maintained a large stock 
of goods for the Dakota trade, taught the women to raise 
vegetables, and supplied them with domestic fowls and 
cattle. He made of his post an asylum where the old men 
and women and the sick and defective were welcomed 
and cared for. Then with Spanish diplomacy he set 
about to create an impression in the minds of the Indians 
that the Sioux on the Mississippi were their enemies, 
and he skillfully fomented trouble between the two 
branches of the Sioux nation. Trusted runners were 
sent to the Mississippi to hint to the Sioux there that the 
Dakota Indians were very much incensed at their conduct 
and were likely to send war parties against them at any 
time. This kept the Mississippi Sioux at home to protect 
their families and camps. Lest the too frequent cry of 
woLf should make the Mississippi Sioux careless and get 


them to thinking there was no danger, he sent a war 
party of Omahas against a Httle band of lowas, but was 
careful to see that no general war took place. 

Lisa kept his Indians busy hunting and trapping and 
gave them good trade so that they were generally pros- 
perous, while the Mississippi Sioux, between their expe- 
ditions to help the English, and their fear of trouble from 
the Tetons, neglected their hunting; the British found 
it very difficult to bring goods to them for trade, owing to 
the war, and they were thus left very poor and in a miser- 
able condition. By these methods Lisa held the Sioux 
of the Missouri very strongly to the American interests 
and was perfectly successful in his plan to make the Mis- 
sissippi Sioux not only of no value to the Enghsh, but 
actually a burden to them. 

When the war was finally over, Manuel perfectly under- 
stood conditions among the Indians on both rivers, and 
he hurried to St. Louis to propose that a great council 
be immediately called in which all of the Sioux should be 
invited to participate and that they be thereby drawn to 
the American interest, both for citizenship and for trade. 
Clark, now governor of Missouri territory, fully agreed 
with him, and authorized a council to be held at Portage 
des Sioux, at the mouth of the Missouri River. Manuel 
went back to the upper Missouri and gathered up forty of 
the chiefs and head men of his Dakota Sioux, while 
Lieutenant Kennerly went to the Mississippi Sioux and 
secured representatives of all of the bands residing there. 
The council was called for the fifteenth day of July, 1815, 
and was within ninety days of the close of hostilities 


between the English and Americans on the Mississippi. 
All of the bands joined heartily in a treaty of peace and 
friendship with the Americans. 

Among the chiefs whom Manuel Lisa took down for 
this council was Black Buffalo, who, while waiting for 
the council to assemble, died on the night of July 14. He 
was a Minneconjou and a man of a great deal of power. 
It will be recalled that he was the principal chief with 
whom Lewis and Clark counciled, feasted, and quarreled 
at the mouth of the Teton (at the site of Fort Pierre), from 
September 25 to 28, 1804, when upon the up trip. He 
was with his band near Fort Randall when the explorers 
returned in 1806, and fearing trouble and delay they did 
not stop to hold communion with him. In 1807 he was 
in league with the Rees and present in the Ree villages 
when the attack was made upon the party of Sergeant 
Pryor and Pierre Chouteau, Sr., who were endeavoring 
to get Big White to his home, and in the skirmish Black 
Buffalo was dangerously wounded, the whites supposing 
he was killed. We next find him at the head of a party 
of Dakotas whom the Astorians met at the Big Bend in 
181 1, protesting against the carrying of arms to the Rees 
and Mandans, with whom the Sioux were then at war. 
At this time, by reason of his appearance and mild de- 
portment, he made a very favorable impression upon 
Brakenridge, who was the historian of the expedition. 
During the ensuing war with Great Britain, Black Buffalo 
was one of the men upon whom Manuel Lisa relied i-n his 
efforts to keep the Missouri River Dakotas friendly to 
the United States. 


Colonel John Miller, with a detachment of the Third 
Infantry, was present at the council, and at the request 
of Governor Clark, Black Buffalo was buried with 
military honors. Indeed he was given the honors of an 
officer of high rank, and the ceremonies evidently made 
a deep impression upon the assembled red men, for 
Big Elk, chief of the Omahas, who delivered one of the 
funeral orations, said : — 

"Do not grieve. Misfortunes will happen to the wisest 
and best of men. Death will come and always comes out 
of season. It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all 
nations and people must obey. What is past and can not 
be prevented should not be grieved for. Be not displeased 
or discouraged that in visiting your father here you have 
lost your chief. A misfortune of this kind may never 
again befall you, but this would have come to you, perhaps 
at your own village. Five times have I visited this land 
and never returned with sorrow or pain. Misfortunes do 
not flourish particularly in our path. They grow every- 
where. Wnat a misfortune for me that I could not have 
died to-day, instead of the chief who lies before us. The 
trifling loss my nation would have sustained in my death 
would have been doubly paid for in the honors of my burial. 
They would have wiped off everything like regret. In- 
stead of being covered with a cloud of sorrow my warriors 
would have felt the sunshine of joy in their hearts. To 
me it would have been a most glorious occurrence. Here- 
after, when I die at home, instead of a noble grave and a 
grand procession, the rofling music and the thunderous 
cannon, with a flag waving at my head, I shall be wrapped 


in a robe (an old robe, perhaps), and hoisted on a slender 
scaffold to the whistling winds, soon to be blown to the 
earth, my flesh to be devoured by the wolves and my bones 
rattled on the plains by the wild beasts. Chief of the sol- 
diers, your labors have not been in vain. Your attention 
shall not be forgotten. My nation shall know the respect 
that is paid to the dead. When I return, I shall echo the 
sound of your guns." 



The War of 1812 ruined the fur trade for the time being, 
and it did not begin to revive until about 181 7. The rec- 
ords are strangely silent about Lisa's post in the Dakota 

R.8O w. 
T.J'2 fl!'f\_ 

lP"^,6\ 1 i ! - 


^"V R.30 E 

Lower I^e Village 

T.m N. 
fl.79 W. 



D ^. PI ERR 


Bubletla - "---'" 

RJ8 IV. 

Post ( 3C;;|*L#:^^_.. ^^-Sf «.\^^„f"9|l j# I 

R.77 W. 




Fur and Military Establishments near Fort Pierre from 1817 

TO 1865 

country at this time, but in the autumn of 181 7 
Joseph La Framboise, a mixed blood, French-Ottavi^a, 
established a post at the mouth of the Teton River, w^here 
Fort Pierre now stands, and the settlement at that point 
has been continuous since, making Fort Pierre the oldest 
continuous settlement in the state. 



The revival of the fur trade led to the organization of 
several fur companies in St. Louis. Among these was 
the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, organized by Gen- 
eral WilHam H. Ashley, a very prominent man, heuten- 
ant governor of Missouri, and afterward for many years 
a member of Congress. Associated with Ashley was Major 
Andrew Henry, another man distinguished in his time. 
In 1822 Ashley and Henry went to the head waters of the 
Missouri and established trade there with the native tribes. 
Henry, with a considerable party of men, remained during 
the ensuing winter upon the Yellowstone, while Ashley 
returned to St. Louis to recruit more men and bring up 
additional cargoes of goods in the spring. 

Early in the spring of 1823 Ashley set out from St. 
Louis to return to the mountains with a party of ooe hun - yv*''*^-^^ 
(fee^ hunters, trappers, and river men, and a large stock 
of merchandise. At the end of May they had arrived 
safely at the Ree towns at the mouth of Grand River, 
where they stopped to trade and to purchase horses, for 
Ashley had determined to send half of his party overland 
to the Yellowstone by the Grand River route, which had 
been opened by the Astorians in 181 1. The Rees gave 
them a hearty welcome, and they traded upon the most 
friendly terms for several days. Finally, on the evening 
of June I, Ashley had secured all the horses he desired, 
and prepared to leave in the morning. Forty men were 
to go up Grand River, with the horses, and th?y vere 
encamped on the shore just outside of the lower tov/n. 
Ashley, with the remainder of the men, slept in the boats 
anchored in the stream near by. 


Just before daylight a violent thunderstorm passed 
over, and just as the thunder and lightning was dying 
away, the Rees, without warning, made a desperate attack 
upon the white men. Ashley rallied his men to the de- 
fense as best he could, but the advantage was all with the 
Indians. The fight lasted fifteen minutes, and at its close 
twelve white men lay dead and eleven others were severely 
wounded, at least one of them mortally. Ashley got the 
survivors into his boats, cut loose, and allowed them to 
drift down river, out of range of the enemy. There he 
attempted to reorganize his forces and boldly push by the 
towns, and go on upstream, but to his dismay he found 
that the courage of his men was gone, and scarcely one 
would assist him in the enterprise; they openly declared 
that if he insisted upon it, they would all desert and make 
their way as best they could down the river. In this 
emergency Ashley made terms with them, by which he 
agreed to drift down to the mouth of the Cheyenne and 
there fortify a camp, until messengers could be sent to the 
nearest military post, which was located at Fort Atkinson, 
sixteen miles north of Omaha. 

The express reached Fort Atkinson on June i8. Colonel 
Henry Leavenworth was in command of the post, which 
was garrisoned by a portion of the Sixth Infantry. Situ- 
ated as he was, without telegraph or other means of com- 
municating with his superiors, Leavenworth was forced 
to use his best judgment in the matter, and he determined 
to lead a detachment of troops up the river at once, 
and to punish the Rees severely for their conduct. The 
distance was about seven hundred miles bv river. Four 



days later, on June 22, with two hundred and twenty men 
and four keel boats laden with subsistence, ammunition, 
and two six-pound cannons, he started on the long journey. 
The river was high, the winds unfavorable, and the only 
means of propelhng the boats was by towing them with the 
cordelle. Under the circumstances they made very good 
time. When near Yankton on the 3d of July, one of the 
boats struck a sub- 
merged log and was 
capsized and broken 
in two, and Sergeant 
Samuel Stackpole and 

L, six privates were 
drowned. At Fort Re- 
cover}^, on American 
Island at Chamber- 
lain, Joshua Pilcher 

Wk joined Leavenworth 
with a company of 

fc forty men, and at 
the Cheyenne, Ashley 
joined them with eighty 
additional men, mak- 
ing a total of three hundred and forty white men, soldiers, 
and volunteers all told. Seven hundred and fifty Sioux 
Indians — Yankton, Yanktonais, and Tetons — also vol- 
unteered to go along, but they proved to be a hindrance 
rather than an assistance. They reached the Ree towns 
on the 9th of August. 

There were two of these villages, separated only by a 

so. DAK. — 6 • • 

General Henry Leavenworth 



narrow ravine, both of which were stockaded. The lower 
village contained seventy-one and the upper seventy 
houses. The Recs came out to meet the soldiers, but 
were soon driven back to the inclosure of the towns, 
where they were at once attacked by the military. Pilcher 
had a howitzer, which with Leavenworth's cannon made 
three large guns for the siege. Two of these guns were 
planted before the lower town, and the other one on a hill 


Siege of the Ree Towns; Disposition of Leavenworth's Forces 

back of the upper town. They kept up an intermittent 
fire upon the town for two days, when the Rees came 
out and begged for terms. 

Assuming that they had been severely punished, Leaven- 
worth told them that if they would restore the goods, or 
an equivalent in horses and furs for the goods and horses 
taken from Ashley, everything would be forgiven. This 
they promised to do, and they did bring out a few robes ; 


but in the darkness of the next night the entire nation 
abandoned their villages and escaped to the prairie, and 
though Leavenworth sent messengers after them with 
assurances of kindness and fair treatment, they could not 
be prevailed upon to return. 

Having exhausted his provisions, Leavenworth was com- 
pelled to return to Fort Atkinson. His was the first 
general military movement in Dakota, and, while little 
was accomplished, it was really a very brave thing for 
Leavenworth to venture thus into a hostile country for 
the purpose of upholding the dignity of the American 
nation. • 

One circumstance connected with this Ree outbreak 
should be borne in mind. Immediately after the massacre, 
and when it had been determined that Ashley could not 
go forward up river but must retire, he felt that it was most 
necessary that a messenger should be sent to Major Henry, 
who, it will be remembered, remained the previous winter 
on the Yellowstone. He called for a volunteer to carry 
this message, and the only response was by Jedediah S. 
Smith, a boy eighteen years of age. It was a most dan- 
gerous undertaking. The entire party were gathered 
on the deck of General Ashley's boat, the Yellowstone, 
when Smith received his commission. There, among the 
dead and dying men, the boy, who was a Methodist, 
knelt down and made a most eloquent prayer to Heaven 
for guidance and protection. This was the first recorded 
act of religious worship in South Dakota. He was suc- 
cessful in reaching Henry, and at once returned down the 
river to St. Louis and was back at the Ree town in time 


to command a company of men there in the fight in 
August. In sixty-six days he had traveled more than 
four thousand miles, having no means of transportation 
more rapid than an Indian pony or a canoe. Improbable 
as this achievement appears, it is substantiated by the 
military records. 

The Rees never were an independent people after 
Leavenworth's campaign. 



Despite the fact that nearly fifty years had passed since 
the Declaration of Independence, and ten years since the 
last peace treaty with England, nevertheless in 1825 the 
matter of trade on the western frontier was still un- 
settled, and there was a constant conflict between American 
and Enghsh interests there. For many reasons the Indians 
preferred the British trade. The chief of these was that 
England placed no restriction upon the use of intoxicating 
liquors in the Indian country, while it was entirely pro- 
hibited by American law and could be carried into the 
wilderness by American traders only at great hazard. 
The British traders naturally were very reluctant to give 
up the rich American field, and they constantly came in 
by way of Canada and the Lakes and across from the 
Hudson Bay country by way of the Assiniboine to the 
Missouri. Colonel Leavenworth was clearly of the opinion 
that the Rees had been incited to the massacre of General 
Ashley's men by Enghsh influence. This long-continued 
friction, and the Ree trouble, led the government to under- 
take once for all to keep the Engh.-:nmen out of our terri- 
tory, and to secure all of the Indian trade tor our merchants. 

To this end, in the summer of 1825, General Atkinson 



and Dr. Benjamin O'Fallon, of St. Louis, were appointed 
special commissioners to visit all of the Indian tribes on 
the Missouri River, to secure from them trade and inter- 
course treaties w^hich would be solely for the advantage 
of the American merchants. The expedition traveled in 
a fleet of eight keel boats, which in addition to the usual 
oars, sails, and cordelles, were equipped each with a set 
of paddle wheels operated by hand power. They were 
accompanied by four hundred and seventy-six soldiers, 
with Colonel Leavenworth in command. They reached 
the Dakota country early in June, and on the i8th held a 
great council near Chamberlain with the Yanktons, Yank- 
tonais, and some of the Teton bands, and after a grand 
military exhibition which greatly impressed the Indians, 
secured a treaty precisely in the terms desired by the 
government. They went on to Fort Pierre, where they 
arrived on the 2d of July, and there met several other 
bands of Tetons and waited several days for the Oglalas 
and some of the distant bands to come in. 

When the 4th of July arrived, the officers determined to 
give the Indians the benefit of a genuine Fourth of July 
celebration, and this is the first recorded celebration of 
the Fourth within South Dakota. Colonel Leaven- 
worth was made officer of the day, cannon were fired at 
sunrise, there was a flag raising, and General Atkinson 
and Dr. O'Fallon delivered orations, which were inter- 
preted to the Indians. Lieutenant W. S. Harney, who 
thirty years later rendered distinguished service upon 
that very soil, read the Declaration of Independence, 
which was duly interpreted to the Sioux. At noon the 


Oglalas made a feast of the "flesh of thirteen dogs, boiled 
in seven kettles, much done," to which the officers were 
invited. The remainder of the day was spent in games, 
races, etc., and in the evening there was a fine display of 
fireworks. The festivities were continued over the 5th 
and 6th; a grand military review took place on the 5th, 
which "struck the Indians with great awe, and on the 6th, 
after the treaties had been signed, Lieutenant Holmes 
threw six shells from the howitzer which exploded hand- 
somely and made a deep impression upon the savages." 
Among those present who took part in the Fourth of 
July celebration and festivities and who signed the treaty 
w^as Chief Waneta, the English captain. 

When passing the mouth of the Little Cheyenne River, 
near the site of the present village of Forest City, the 
commissioners visited and examined the now celebrated 
footprints inw^/|-ock lfeg«r; 

The expedition went on to the Rees and secured a 
similar treaty from those people, with an additional 
clause in which the Indians expressed deep regret for the 
occurrences of 1823. The treaties secured by this expe- 
dition had the desired effect. The. British traders were 
excluded from the American field and there was no further 
friction on this account. 




After the completion of the trade and intercourse 
treaties there was a very great increase in the American 
fur trade, and it continued to grow and expand until the 

Old Fort Pierre 

fur-bearing animals and buffalo were practically exter- 
minated. The mouth of the Teton River was at the very 
center of the great fur country, and it was there, as we have 
seen, that the little post of Joseph La Framboise was built 
in 1817. Five years later this post was succeeded by 




Fort Tecumseh, and again in 1832 it was rebuilt near by 
as "Fort Pierre Chouteau," which was soon thereafter cur- 
tailed by common use to "Fort Pierre." Until the year 
before the erection of Fort Pierre the up-river trade was all 
carried on by means of the slow-going keel boats, but in 
1831 the enterprising Pierre Chouteau, Jr., son of the man 
who had fought the 
Ree Indians in the Big 
White expedition, built 
a small, flat-bottomed 
steamboat, intended ex- 
pressly for navigation 
on the shallow Mis- 
souri, and with it 
brought a cargo of 
goods to Fort Tecum- 
seh. This steamboat 
trip entirely revolution- 
ized the Missouri River 
fur trade, and made 
it possible to accom- 

^i- 1 „ vu i- Pierre Chouteau, Jr. 

plish With great ease, ■^ 

in a few weeks of time, what formerly had required an 
entire season. The next year Chouteau took his steam- 
boat, the Yellowstone, clear through to the forks of the 
Missouri and there built Fort Union. 

This successful navigation of the Missouri, to its head, 
was one of the great sensations of that period. There- 
after many distinguished travelers visited the Dakota 
country. Even on the trip of 1832 Chouteau was accom- 



panied by George Catlin, the famous artist, who came to 
study the Indian in his primitive condition; and to the 
pictures which he painted at Fort Pierre and along the 
Missouri we are indebted for the preservation of clear 
representations of the life, habits, and fashions of the early 
red men. 

Another famous traveler, who came out the next year, 
1833, was Maximilian, Prince of Wied. He, too, was a 

student of native con- 
ditions; he was much 
more careful and accu- 
rate than Catlin. He 
spent but little time, 
however, in South Da- 
kota, doing most of 
his work in the vicinity 
of Fort Union. 

In 1839 Dr. Joseph 
N. Nicollet, the famous 
French scientist, came 
up the river to Fort 
Pierre, accompanied by 
General John C. Fre- 
mont, thenayoungman. 
They were in the employ of the government and had been 
sent out to map the Dakota country, the first official action 
of this kind. They remained at Pierre for several weeks, 
preparing for their work, and then set out for the James 
River and arrived at Medicine Knoll, near Blunt, on the 
evening of July 3. At midnight Fremont went to the top 

General John C. Fremont 


of Medicine Knoll and fired guns and rockets in cele- 
bration of the national anniversary. After traveling part 
way to the James they stopped to fish at Scatterwood 
Lake, finally reaching the river at Armadale Grove, in 
Spink County. This grove was a famous camping place 
for the Indians and early travelers. Thence they passed 
up the James and across to Devils Lake, and thence back 
down the coteau to Lakes Traverse and Big Stone, whence 
they left the state, going down the Minnesota to St. Paul. 

While at Fort Pierre Nicollet and Fremont went out 
to a Yankton camp not far from the post, where they 
were received with great ceremony. A feast was prepared 
for them, and having made the customary presents which 
ratified the covenants of good will and free passage over 
their country, the chiefs escorted the visitors back to the fort. 

A few days later one of the chiefs came to Fort Pierre, 
bringing with him his pretty daughter handsomely dressed. 
Accompanied ,by an interpreter he came to the room where 
the scientists were employed with their books and maps, 
and formally offered her to Mr. Nicollet as a wife. This 
placed the old Frenchman, for a moment, in an embar- 
rassing position, but with ready tact he explained to the 
chief that he already had a wife and that the Great Father 
would not let him have two. "But here," he said, "is 
Mr. Fremont, who has no wife at all." This put Fremont 
in a worse situation, but he too made a tactful reply. He 
said that he was going far away and was not coming back, 
and did not like to take the girl away from her people, as 
it might bring bad luck to them ; but that he was greatly 
pleased with the offer and would be glad to give the girl 


a suitable present. Accordingly an attractive package 
of scarlet and blue cloth, beads of various colors, and a 
mirror was made up and given to her, and the two Indians 
went away, the girl apparently quite satisfied with her 
parcel and the father likewise pleased with other 
suitable presents made to him. While the matrimonial 
conference was in progress, the girl had looked on well 
pleased, leaning composedly against the door post. 

The previous year, 1838, Nicollet and Fremont had 
visited the eastern part of South Dakota, coming in by 
way of Pipestone Quarry, and they mapped the Coteau 
region and gave to many of the lakes the names which 
they still bear. Lake Preston was named by Frdmont 
for Senator Preston; Lake Abert (Albert) for Colonel 
Abert, chief of the topographical engineers; and Lake 
Poinsett for the then Secretary of War. 

In 1840 Rev. Stephen R. Riggs drove across country 
from the missionary settlement at Lac qui Parle, Minne- 
sota, to Fort Pierre, where he preached a sermon to the 
traders and Indians. This was the first sermon preached 
within South Dakota. 

In 1 85 1 Father Peter John De Smet, a famous Catholic 
missionary, made his first visit especially to the Dakota 
Indians, though he had previously become interested in 
them while passing down the Missouri from a trip among 
the Indians of Oregon, and in 1839, also, had come up 
the river as far as the mouth of the Vermilion to endeavor 
to effect a peace between the ou^.iaw band of Wamdesapa 
and the Potawatomies. From 185 1 until his death in 
1873 he devoted his attention principally to the spiritual 



and physical needs of these people. No other man has 
had so great influence with them, and even in the days of 
their greatest hostihty and hatred for the white man, he 
was always a welcome visitor to their camps. When the 
authorities could get into communication with the hostile 
leaders in no other way, the devoted old missionary, alone 
and with great hardship and privation, would journey 
through the wilderness to carry the messages of the 
" Great- Father," as the Indians call all communications 
from the President or his representatives, to his dis- 
obedient children. Good fortune attended all of his rela- 
tions with the Sioux. During his first visit in 1851, Red 
Fish, an Oglala, had made an unprovoked war upon the 
Crows and had been soundly beaten for his pains, and in 
addition had lost his favorite daughter, a captive to his 
enemies. Humiliated and defeated, a butt of ridicule to 
his own people, he had hurried down to Fort Pierre to 
interest the traders in securing the recovery of his daugh- 
ter. Learning that " a black gown," the Indian name for 
a priest, was in the settlement, he went to the good father 
and implored him to invoke his " medicine " for the 
recovery of the child. Father De Smet severely rebuked 
him for his unnecessary war, and then made a fervid 
prayer for the safety and return of the girL Red Fish 
returned to his camp comforted, and as he entered his 
tepee the lost child bounded into his arms. She had 
eluded her captors and followed her father's trail to the 
post. The circumstance was by the Indians deemed 
miraculous, and they attributed it entirely to the medicine 
(prayer) of Father De Smet. 


About this time (1850) eastern scientific people began 
to learn about the Bad Lands, and many men of note 
came out to visit and study that interesting region. The 

Jill -."S^. ■"■^^^^.. 


f .. 



Clay Buttes in the Bad Lands (VVashabaugh County) 

great men who have since then visited South Dakota, from 
General G. K. Warren to Theodore Roosevelt, are too 
numerous to mention. 



The discovery of gold in California (1847) ^^^ the over 
land travel which followed greatly disturbed the Teton 
bands of the Sioux along the trail, which followed the 
valley of the upper Platte River to the Rocky Mountains ; 
for the gold hunters ruthlessly shot down or frightened 
far away the game upon which the Indians lived. At 
first the Indians protested, and then began to retahate 
by shooting the cattle of travelers. As time advanced 
they became more bold and frequently shot straggling 
horsemen; and once in a while a train was surprised and 
men shot down and women and children carried into 
captivity. This conduct made the government determine 
to establish a strong post on the Missouri River at the 
point nearest to the trail in the Dakota country, and with 
another post at Fort Laramie (in what is now Wyoming) 
it was thought the Indians could be held in subjection. 
A preliminary review of the situation led the war depart- 
ment to believe that the military post should be located 
at Fort Pierre, which was the point on the Missouri nearest 
to Laramie. As the fur animals had by 1855 been almost 
exterminated in the Dakota country the American Fur 
Company, which owned the post at Pierre, was glad to 
sell it to the government at a very large price. 




While negotiations were going on for the purchase of 
the post, the Indians became more unruly than ever, and 
it was thought necessary to send a strong force against 
them. This force was placed under the command of 
General W. S. Harney, the man who thirty years before 
read the Declaration of Independence at the Fourth of 
July celebration at Fort Pierre. He at once sent a por- 
tion of his men by 
steamboat to Fort 
Pierre, to take posses- 
sion of the post and 
place it in readiness to 
receive his main com- 
mand, which he in- 
tended to lead there 
overland, through the 
country of the unruly 
Indians, in the autumn. 
With twelve hun- 
dred men Harney set 
out from Fort Leaven- 
worth, Kansas, on the 
5th of August, and 
proceeded by way of Fort Kearney, Nebraska, without 
meeting any Indians, until the 2d of September, when he 
found a camp of Brule Sioux at Ash Hollow on the Blue 
Water, a northern affluent of the Platte in central north- 
ern Nebraska. The next morning before light, he divided 
his force, sending the cavalry far around to strike the 
Indians' camp from the rear, while with his infantry he 

General W. s. Harnev 



approached the camp in front. He reached a point very 
near the camp before the Indians discovered his presence. 
Ivittle Thunder, the chief, came out and desired to have a 
council. Harney, who was not yet sure that his cavalry 
was in position, humored him for a time, until information 
came that the cavalry was ready. Then he told Little 
Thunder that he had come to fight him and that he 
should go at once and get ready for war. The chief flew 
back to his camp, Harney in hot pursuit with the infantry. 
When Harney was within hailing distance of the camp, 
he motioned to the Indians to run. They started to do 
so, and ran directly upon the cavalry. Then the Indians, 
finding themselves trapped, began a fight for their lives, 
but they were overwhelmed from the beginning. The 
battle of Ash Hollow was a cruel massacre of the B rules, 
but they died bravely. An Indian severely wounded, 
and supposed to be dead, rose up -and shot a soldier. 
A dismounted cavalryman rushed up to finish the Indian 
with his saber, but, as he struck, the Indian threw up his 
gun and the saber broke off at the hilt. An officer came 
to the rescue, and the Indian caught up the broken saber 
and almost cut off the leg of the officer's horse. He was 
then killed with a revolver shot. This shows the spirit 
of the savages' defense. Upon the battlefield were a 
number of old caches (holes in which the Indians had 
buried food) in which the warriors took refuge and from 
which they succeeded in killing thirteen soldiers and 
wounding many more. One hundred and thirty-six 
Indians were killed and the entire camp, with all their 
property, was captured. 

so. DAK. 7 



Though hailed as a great \dctory and an additional 
plume in Harney's crest of fame, the battle of Ash Hollow 
was a shameful affair, unworthy of American arms, and 
a disgrace to the officer who planned it. It of course 
had the effect of making the Indians fear Harney, and 
possibly in that way did result in a degree of protection 

18 ft. 

ill u 

21 feet' 

21 feet 


r , I" 

18 leet^ 



33 ft. 

+1 ft. 

0018 feet 


18 ft. 












42 ft. 


Front Pickets 

10 ft. 

20 ft. 











9 ft. 

10 ft. 

18 ft. 

Plan of Old Fort Pierre, 1855 



18 ft, 

10 ft. 

to the California trail. There was no evidence whatever 
that Little Thunder's band had ever done any mischief, 
or been guilty of any conduct which warranted their 

Harney took his prisoners on to Fort Laramie, and then 
turned by the old fur trail at the foot of the Black Hills, 


by way of the White River, to Fort Pierre, which place 
he reached on October 19, 1855, where he reunited his 
entire force of more than twelve hundred men. 

Fort Pierre was in no respect suitable for the accommo- 
dation of so large a force ; in fact the government was very 
seriously imposed upon by the fur company and had 
made a ver}' bad bargain in the purchase of the post. 
Harney was compelled to divide his men up into small 
companies, and most of them spent the winter in open 
cantonments, scattered from the present site of Oahe 
down to the Big Sioux River, wherever fuel and pasturage 
for the horses were convenient. Probably the first piece 
of doggerel rhyme ever composed in South Dakota was 
produced and sung as a barrack-room ballad by the 
soldier boys in that winter of 1855. It ran thus: — 

Oh, we don't mind the marching 

Nor the fighting do we fear, 
But we'll never forgive old Harney 

For bringing us to Pierre. 

They say old Shotto ^ built it, 

But we know it is not so, 
For the man who built this bloody ranch 

Is reigning down below. 

In March, 1856, Harney assembled all of the bands of 
the Teton Sioux and of the Yanktons at Fort Pierre, and 
after a protracted council entered into a treaty with them, 
by which they agreed to respect the CaHfornia trail, and 

1 Chouteau. 


protect the travelers who passed over it. This treaty 
contained a very wise provision, to the effect that each of 
the bands should select one great chief and ten subordi- 
nate chiefs, whom the government should recognize as 
having full authority in the band. These chiefs were to 
select a sufficient number of young men to form a strong 
police force to preserve order in the camp. The govern- 
ment was to clothe and furnish food for these chiefs and 
policemen. In view of the experience of recent years 
it is very certain that, had this wise plan been carried out, 
the government would have had little more trouble with 
the Teton Sioux, but Congress refused to ratify the treaty, 
or make provision for the uniforms and subsistence of 
the chiefs and police. 

At this treaty council. Sitting Bull, then a boy eighteen 
years of age, first came to the attention of white men. 
He was an overgrown, boorish, low-caste man, who came 
in the capacity of horse herder to Chief White Swan. 

Captain La Barge relates an amusing circumstance 
which occurred at this council. Chloroform was just 
coming into use among physicians, and all of its properties 
were not then very well understood. Harney, to impress 
the Indians, was making some strong boasts of the su- 
perior knowledge of the white men. "Why," he said, 
"we can kill a man and then bring him back to life. Here, 
surgeon," he commanded, "kill this dog and restore it 
to life again." The surgeon caught up an Indian dog and 
administered to it a strong dose of chloroform. In a few 
moments he threw its body to the chiefs, who examined 
it and pronounced it "plenty dead." After an interval 



Harney told the doctor to bring it back to life. The doc- 
tor took the dog in hand and apphed all the known re- 
storatives, but without success. After an hour of diligent 
effort he gave up the task. The Indians laughed boister- 
ously. "White man's medicine too strong," they said. 
Harney was satisfied that Fort Pierre was too far up 
river for the best location of a military post, and he set 
out to find a more suitable one. He spent several months 
in examining the river and finally decided upon Handys 
Point, midway between Sioux City and Fort Pierre, where 
he located and built Fort Randall, which was named for 
Captain Daniel Randall, former paymaster of the army. 
Fort Pierre was abandoned, most of the material being 
floated down the river to be used in the construction of 
the new fort. 



About 1825 the Wakpekuta band of Santee Sioux, 
living about the oxbow of the Minnesota River (in the 
vicinity of Mankato), was ruled by two brothers, Tasagi 
and Wamdesapa, meaning " the black eagle." Wam- 
desapa was a vicious man with an uncontrollable temper, 
and in a burst of passion he killed his brother, who was 
much beloved by his people. So outraged were the 
Wakpekutas at this murder that they arose against 
Wamdesapa and compelled him to flee from the band 
to save his life. A few renegade Indians accompanied 
him. From that time the Wakpekutas disowned him and 
refused to have any relations with him whatever. Wam- 
desapa wandered out into South Dakota and located 
about the lakes near the site of Madison, and hunted 
along the Vermilion River. As there were no settlers in 
that country he was left to his own devices. 

A son was born to Wamdesapa, and was named Inkpa- 
duta, meaning " scarlet point " or " red end." Inkpaduta 
inherited his father's awful temper and all of his vices. 
He was intelligent, shrewd, treacherous, and without 
shame. All history does not reveal a more terrible charac- 
ter. Wamdesapa died in 1848 and Inkpaduta succeeded 



to the chieftainship of the small band of bad Indians 
he had gathered about him. In the ver)' first year of his 
chieftainship his cousin, The War Eagle That ]\lay Be 
Seen, chief of the Wakpekutas, was hunting in what 
is now Murray County, Minnesota, when Inkpaduta 
stole into his camp in the night time and killed the young 
chief and seventeen of his people. As the white settle- 
ments began to extend into western Iowa and western 
Minnesota Inkpaduta spent much of his time raiding the 
settlements, stealing stock, and annoying the settlers. 

By the spring of 1857 a considerable settlement had grown 
up about Spirit Lake on the northern border of Iowa. In 
March of that year Inkpaduta visited this settlement with 
his entire band, consisting of eleven lodges. He fell 
upon the settlement and utterly destroyed it, killing forty- 
two persons in all. Four women — Mrs. Thatcher, 
Mrs. Marble, Mrs. Noble, and a young girl named x\bbie 
Gardner — were carried into captivity. The suffering 
and abuse to which these victims were subjected can not 
be described. During the march into Dakota the very 
hea\y snows were melting and the country was flooded. 
At Flandreau the party crossed the Big Sioux River upon 
a fallen tree. Mrs. Thatcher was pushed from this log into 
the river and tortured to death while in the icy flood. 
Time and again she was permitted to reach the shore, 
and while climbing the slippery bank was clubbed back 
into the water, until she was finally exhausted. The 
party then went into camp at Lake Herman, near Madison. 

Two Christian Indians from the settlement at Lac qui 
Parle, Greyfoot and Sounding Heavens, who were hunt- 



ing on the Big Sioux, learned that Inkpaduta had white 

captives at Lake Herman and went out to attempt their 

rescue. They were 

able, with the means 

at hand, to secure 

the purchase of only 

one of the women. 

Mrs. Marble was 

selected and they 

took her back to the 


Two missionaries, 

Drs. Riggs and Wil- greyfoot 

liamson, and the Indian agent Judge Charles E. Flandrau, 

at once undertook to secure the rescue of the other cap- 
tives. They knew it to 
be impossible for white 
men to approach Ink- 
paduta's camp, so 
they asked Indians 
to volunteer to go. 
Three Christian In- 
dians, John Other 
Day, Paul Mazakute- 
mane, and Iron Hawk, 
undertook the mission. 
They were well sup- 
j)licd with provisions 
and goods to trade for 
John Other Day the captiveS. They 




followed Greyfoot's trail back to Lake Herman to find 
that Inkpaduta had abandoned that camp. They took 
his trail and followed him northwest from Lake Herman 
to the mouth of Snake River on the west side of the 
James River, two miles south of Ashton in Spink County, 
where they found the girl Abbie Gardner in a large camp 
of several hundred Yanktons. Mrs. Noble had been 
brutally murdered two days before, by Roaring Cloud, 
a worthy son of Inkpaduta's. 
The Christian Indians suc- 
ceeded in buying Abbie Gard- 
ner and safely conducted her 
to her friends. This lady, in 
i^^ssg, was still living upon the 
old homestead at Spirit Lake, 
where her family was massacred. 
The government took no 
suitable action to punish Ink- 
paduta for his horrible outrage. 

Though more than forty years had passed since the 
Wakpekutas drove away and disowned the Inkpaduta 
band, the government determined to hold the band re- 
sponsible for Inkpaduta's conduct, and to withhold their 
annuities until he had been brought in and punished. 
The Indians thought this most unfair, but agreed to do 
their best to punish the outlaw. Just at this time Roar- 
ing Cloud, the young fiend who had murdered Mrs. 
Noble, apoeared at Yellow Medicine Agency, on the 
Minnesota River, and he was shot and killed by a posse 
under Judge Flandrau, who attempted his arrest. A war 

Little Crow 


party of Santees was organized, under the command of 
the famous chief Little Crow, and they proceeded from 
the Minnesota River into South Dakota in pursuit of 
Inkpaduta. After trailing him for a long distance, they 
finally located the outlaw and his band at Lake Thomp- 
son, in what is now Kingsbury County, where a sharp 
battle occurred. Two of Inkpaduta's sons and two of 
his soldiers were killed, but Inkpaduta escaped. The 
Indians, regarding this as a sufficient punishment, returned 
to the Minnesota, and no further action was taken by the 



As related in earlier chapters, the land now occupied by 
the state of South Dakota was acquired by the United 
States as part of the Louisiana purchase (1803) and was 
included in the territory of Missouri, organized in 181 2. 
But this land remained the property of Indian tribes, and 
was not settled by white men for more than forty years. 
The part east of the Missouri River, meanwhile, was made 
successively part of Michigan territory (1834), Wisconsin 
territory (1836), Iowa territory (1838), and Minnesota 
territory (1849). The part west of the Missouri was 
included in the original hmits of Nebraska territor}^ (1854). 

When it became apparent that the state of Minnesota 
was to be admitted to the Union with its western boundary 
as at present located, and not upon the Big Sioux River 
as had been anticipated, a party of democratic politicians 
at St. Paul, believing that a new territory would speedily 
be organized out of the portion of Minnesota territory 
not within the state boundaries, formed a company for 
the purpose of securing control of all of the desirable 
town sites and water powers in the proposed new terri- 
tory, and for the purpose of securing the location of the 
territorial capital, with the expectation of securing the 



offices and the control of the rich territorial contracts, 
such as for printing and Indian supplies. It was a far- 
reaching scheme in the hands of shrewd and intelligent 
men, who stood very high in the confidence of the polit- 
ical party then in power. They organized as the Dakota 
Land Company, and in the spring of 1857 sent a party 
of men, under the lead of Major Franklin De Witt, 
into the South Dakota country to claim the town 
sites. At Sioux Falls it was expected to establish the 
territorial capital, and there a city was to be immediately 
built. Governor Medary of Minnesota territory, a very 
influential politician, holding his appointment from the 
President of the United States and having large influence 
at Washington, was the president of the company. 

Settlements were made at Sioux Falls, Flandreau, 
Medary (on the Big Sioux in the southern part of Brook- 
ings County), and Renshaw (on the Big Sioux, near the 
site of Estelline in Hamlin County) ; also at the mouth of 
the Split Rock River and near the site of Fairview in 
Lincoln County. When the settlers of the Dakota Land 
Company arrived at Sioux Falls, they found that a party 
from Dubuque, known as the Western Town* Company, 
had preceded them and taken possession of the water 
power at the Falls, but they secured the upper water 
power and the two parties worked in harmony. Thus 
was made the first settlement in the Big Sioux valley. 
Governor Medary, in furtherance of their plans, immedi- 
ately organized Big Sioux County and appointed for it a 
full set of officers, taking them in about equal numbers 
from the St. Paul and Dubuque parties. 



When Minnesota was admitted as a state in 1858, the 
commissioners of Big Sioux County at once appointed 
Alpheus G. Fuller as delegate in Congress from Dakota 
territory, but Congress refused to recognize him. The 
settlers, however, proceeded to organize a territorial 


Sioux Falls (Present View) 

government. They elected a legislature, which convened 
and passed some memorials to Congress and declared the 
laws of Minnesota in force until others were provided. 
The legislature elected Henry Masters governor, and James 
Allen secretary of state. 

In the spring of 1858 the Yankton Indians, under the 
lead of Smutty Bear, visited the settlement at Medary, 


drove the settlers away, and destroyed the improvements 
made there. The settlers at Sioux Falls, learning of this, 
hastily fortified themselves, making a really strong post 
which they called Fort Sod. Mrs. Goodwin, the first 
white woman to settle in Dakota, had arrived a few days 
before, and she made a flag to float over the fort, out of 
all of the old flannel shirts to be found in the settlement. 
Most of the movable property was taken inside the fort 
and there the settlers were confined for six weeks, until 
their provisions were almost exhausted and they were 
reduced to the severest straits, when Major De Witt ar- 
rived with supplies. Really they were in little danger. 
Smutty Bear moved down into the vicinity of Sioux Falls, 
and, finding the settlers so thoroughly fortified, went 
away to the James River without molesting them or even 
opening communication with them. But the settlers did 
not know this, and there were too few of them to venture 
out to find out what the situation really was. 

The next summer the promoters, still hopeful, established 
a newspaper called the Dakota Democrat, of which 
Samuel J. Albright was the editor, and which they con- 
tinued to publish for two or three years. In the very 
first issue of this paper is printed a poem by Governor 
Henry Masters, entitled "The Sioux River at Sioux 
Falls." The first verse reads: — 

Thou glidest gently, O thou winding stream, 
Mirroring the beauty of thy flowery banks, 

Now yielding to our souls elysian dreams. 
For which we offer thee our heartfelt thanks. 


The high hopes of these people are revealed in the 
following extracts from the report of the Dakota Land 
Company for 1859. After describing in detail its several 
towTi sites, "Renshaw, at the mouth of the upper Percee; 
Medary, the county seat of Midway County; Flandreau, 
the county seat of Rock County; Sioux Falls City, estab- 
Hshed seat of government of Big Sioux County and the 
recognized capital of the territory, at the falls of the Big 
Sioux, the head of navigation on that river, and terminus 
of the transit railroad west ; Eminija, county seat of Ver- 
milion County, at the mouth of the Split Rock River and 
Pipestone Creek, on the Big Sioux, thirteen miles below the 
Falls, and at the more practicable head of navigation for 
large steamers ; Commerce City, situated at the great bend 
of the Sioux on the Dakota side, halfway between Sioux 
Falls City and the Missouri, coal and timber plenty, at 
a point to which steamers of any class may ply at any 
stage of water," the report goes on to say that their men 
"have planted the flag of the Dakota Land Company on 
each valuable site from the mouth of the Sioux to old 
Fort Lookout on the Missouri, and on the James, Vermil- 
ion, and Wanari rivers. There are more than two thou- 
sand miles of na\dgable waters bordering and within the 
ceded portions of Dakota and this company has already 
secured the most desirable centers for trade and com- 
merce and governmental organization on all these rivers." 

A new election was held in the fall of 1859, and Judge 
Jefferson P. Kidder was sent to Congress as territorial 
delegate. A new legislature was chosen and Judge W. 
W. Brookings was made governor. But a change now 


came with which these heroic boomers had not reckoned 
and which was destined to bring all their plans to naught. 
The new Republican party w\is rising into power. Abra- 
ham Lincoln had won national fame and in the spring 
of 1861 was to become President of the United States. 
The influence of the Dakota Land Company in Congress 
was gone. Every condition upon which they had so 
surely, and with good reason, counted for the success of 
their enterprise was changed, and when Dakota terri- 
tory was finally organized, the management of its affairs 
fell into entirely different hands, the capital was located 
at Yankton, the public printing and the Indian contracts 
were controlled by Republicans, and all the rosy-tinted 
dreams of wealth and power which had inspired the Da- 
kota Land Company vanished into thin air. The settle- 
ment at Sioux Falls dwindled away and finally, as we 
shall learn, w as wholly abandoned. 



In April, 1858, the Yankton Sioux Indians, who claimed 
all the land between the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers, 
as far north as Pierre and Lake Kampeska, made a 
treaty with the whites, by which they gave up all their 
lands except four hundred thousand acres in what is now 
Charles Mix County. This treaty, made by the head men 
of the Yanktons, was not very popular with the rank and 
file of the tribe. Struck by the Ree, the boy who was 
born when Lewis and Clark were at Yankton in 1804, 
and whom Captain Lewis clothed in the American 
flag, stood firmly for the treaty, but Smutty Bear, an 
older man, was strongly opposed to it, and the Yanktons 
were divided into two parties who were almost at the 
point of civil war over its ratification. 

The time came on the loth of July, 1859, when the 
government expected the Yanktons to give up their lands 
and remove to the reservation. The entire tribe was 
assembled at Yankton and were in most earnest delibera- 
tion over the treaty. Struck by the Ree, with his party, 
favored going at once to the new home, but old Smutty 
Bear harangued his people about the graves of their kin- 
dred and the hunting grounds of their fathers, and his 

so. DAK. — 8 113 



views made a deep impression on the tribe. Finally 
when Old Strike, as the whites called Struck by the Ree, 
was breaking camp to start for the reservation, Smutty 
Bear sent his young men on horseback in a wild chase 
about the friendly camp, intended to intimidate the men 

and frighten the 

women and chil- 
dren and prevent 
them from moving. 
At that instant a 
steamboat, coming 
up river, bellowed 
at the landing, and 
with a childlike 
simplicity which 
Indians always 
showed when any- 
thing aroused their 
curiosity, the entire 
tribe forgot about 
their troubles and 
raced off to the 
landing. It was the 
steamboat Wayfarer bringing to them their new agent, 
Mr. Rediield, and a cargo of provisions for their supply. 
Agent Redfield made a speech in which he told them that 
he was going to proceed up the river until he had found a 
proper site for the location of their new agency, on the tract 
of land they had reserved for their own use, and that as 
soon as he arrived there he would make for them a grand 

Struck by the Ree 


feast, to which they were all invitedo The steamer then 
set off upstream and the Yankton nation, like a pack 
of delighted children, crowded and hustled one another 
along the bank, eager to see who would first reach the place 
on the reservation where the feast was to be spread. 
Whites and Indians alike deemed this a sufficient ratifi- 
cation of the treaty, and there never was any more trouble 
about it. 

After the treaty had been signed in 1858, supposing that 
it would be ratified very soon, many settlers gathered along 
the banks of the Missouri, on the Nebraska side of the 
stream, waiting to come over and occupy the rich Dakota 
lands as soon as they could legally do so. Month after 
month they waited until this tenth day of July, 1859, 
when the departure of the Indians for the reservation was 
quickly reported among them, and that day hundreds of 
them came over, beginning the settlements at Yankton, 
Bon Homme, Meckling, and Vermilion. 

Some of these settlers had reached the Dakota land by 
steamboats upon the Missouri River, but generally they 
had come with ox teams and covered wagons which they 
called "prairie schooners." As there was plenty of tim- 
ber along the rivers, they built their first homes of hewn 
logs. Some of the houses whose foundations were laid 
on that tenth day of July, 1859, are still standing. Some 
breaking was done, but it was too late in the season to 
grow any crops that year. The town sites at Bon Homme, 
Yankton, and Vermilion were entered upon by adven- 
turous men with large dreams of town building, but 
in the fertile bottom lands between the James and 



Vermilion rivers many farmers settled, who had no 
more ambitious plans than to build for themselves and 
their families permanent farm homes, and most of them 
with their children still occupy the homesteads they took 
upon that day, or sleep peacefully in the little church- 
yards near by. 

In the Valley of the James 

So it was that a settlement in opposition to that upon 
the Sioux River was planted in the Missouri valley, so 
different in every way that there were scarcely any lines 
of likeness between them. The one was moved by 
dreams of power and wealth, without labor, the other 
sought only homes where a livelihood might be secured by 
honest toil. It is hardly necessary to say that while the 
former sadly failed, the latter, overcoming every obstacle, 
became the permanent and prosperous motherland of 
the future state. 



On the second day of March, 1861, Dakota territory 
was born. It included the area now occupied by North 
Dakota and South Dakota, and extended westward to the 
Rocky Mountains. One of the last official acts of James 
Buchanan, President of the United States, was to sign 
the bill creating it a free territory. And among the first 
acts of Abraham Lincoln as President, was to appoint 
his old neighbor and family physician, Dr. William Jayne, 
of Springfield, Illinois, first governor of Dakota territory. 

It rested with the governor to determine what point 
in the territory should be temporary capital until such 
time as the legislature should select a permanent seat of 
government ; therefore there was great rivalry among the 
little towns in Dakota territory to secure the favor of 
the new governor. In due time Governor Jayne met the 
other territorial officers in Chicago, and together they 
journeyed out to Dakota. It was reported, by a swift 
messenger, that Governor Jayne was driving out from 
Sioux City to look over the Dakota towns before he de- 
termined upon the temporary seat of government, and the 
enterprising town of Vermilion energetically prepared a 
great banquet in his honor. 



Presently a carnage containing two well-dressed gentle- 
men was seen approaching the village from the east, and 
a committee of citizens went out to meet it and welcome 
the new governor ; the two men were invited to accompany 
the committee forthwith to the banquet hall. There 
they partook of a fine dinner, and several hours were spent 
in speechmaking. 

The guest of honor thanked the people sincerely for 
the courtesy, spoke of his good impressions of the com- 
munity, and declared his intention to settle among them. 
This declaration was greeted with hearty cheers, but at that 
moment three or four carriages containing a large party 
of well-to-do people drove through the village, stopping 
only for a moment, and then driving on toward Yankton. 
Some one brought word into the banquet hall that Gov- 
ernor Jayne and his party had gone through to Yankton 
without giving Vermilion an opportunity to show him 
honor. Then the chairman turned to the guest at the 
banquet and asked him his name. He said it was G. B. 
Bigelow, and he was much surprised to know that he had 
been mistaken for the new governor of the territory, sup- 
posing that he had met only the usual hearty welcome 
which the new towns of the West held out to intending 
settlers. Sorely as were the people of Vermilion disap- 
pointed, their sense of humor was too great to permit them 
to mourn long over the laughable mistake. "Governor" 
Bigelow lived with them for many years and in the full- 
ness of a ripe old age died among them, respected by every 
one; but Yankton became the temporary and the perma- 
nent capital of Dakota territory. 



After setting up his headquarters at Yankton, Governor 
Jayne had a census taken, which showed 2402 white 
people in Dakota territory; and called an election for the 
choice of a delegate to Congress and members of a legis- 
lature. Then he returned to his home in Illinois to 
remain until the following year. Captain John Blair 
Smith Todd, recently resigned from the United States 
Army, was elected 
delegate to Con- 
gress. The Weekly 
Dakotian, which 
still survives as the 
Press and DakotanA 
, was estab- 
lished at Yankton 
on the 6th of June, 
1 86 1, and the Ver- 
milion Republican 
was established in 
July of that year. 

By proclamation 

Governor Jayne 

called the legisla- 

Captain J. B. S. Todd 

ture to convene 

at Yankton on March 17 (St. Patrick's day), 1862, and 
he returned to Dakota in time for that event. There 
were nine members of the council and thirteen mem- 
bers of the house, and seldom has a more remarkable 
body of men been gathered together. This territorial 
legislature was at once named "the Pony Congress" 


and is so known to this day. The members were mostly 
young men, many of them possessing great ability, and 
well educated; but they represented, too, the careless, 
carefree, happy-go-lucky life of the frontier. 

The location of the capital was the matter of most im- 
portance. Bon Homme, Yankton, and Vermilion were 
all candidates for that honor. The Yankton men, shrewd 
politicians that they were, before the organization of the 
legislature offered to John H. Shober, of Bon Homme, the 
presidency of the council and to George M. Pinney, 
of Bon Homme, the speakership of the House, in considera- 
tion of which Pinney and Shober were to give up the am- 
bitions of Bon Homme to be the capital and were to 
support Yankton for that honor, while the territorial 
penitentiary was to be located at Bon Homme. Upon 
this understanding both houses of the legislature were 
organized. James Somers, a noted desperado of the 
Dakota frontier, was made sergeant-at-arms of the 

When the people of Bon Homme learned of the trade 
by which their prospects for the location of the territorial 
capital had been defeated, they brought such pressure to 
bear upon Speaker Pinney that, when the bill came up 
for final passage in the House, having first gone through 
the Council all right, Pinney left the speaker's chair and 
moved to substitute Bon Homme for Yankton in the bill. 
This motion was defeated ; he then moved to substitute 
Vermilion for Yankton, and the motion prevailed. 

When Pinney was elected speaker, he had agreed in 
writing to support Yankton for capital; his perfidy 

\ . 


filled the Yanktonians with righteous indignation, and 
they therefore sought the best means to humihate him. 
At the suggestion of some of the citizens, Sergeant-at-arms 
Jim Somers agreed, at the following session, when the bill 
was to come up for reconsideration, to take the speaker 
forcibly from his chair and throw him through the window, 
out of the legislative hall. Somebody talked about the 
conspiracy, news of the plan came to Pinney's ears', and 
he appealed to the governor for protection. Company 
A of the Dakota cavalry had recently been organized 
and was stationed in town, and the governor promptly 
ordered a squad of soldiers to go into the hall and protect 
the speaker in the discharge of his duty. Having thus 
obstructed the conspirators' plan for revenge, Pinney 
sat through the session of the day, but the opposition to 
him was so great that he was compelled to resign. 

Jim Somers, however, could not be kept out of his fun. 
That evening Speaker Pinney stepped into a saloon on 
Broadway. Somers and a party of his cronies were stand- 
ing at the bar. As Pinney approached the bar Somers 
caught him in his arms, carried him across the hall to a 
closed window, and threw him out. The speaker carried 
the sash with him and ahghted on the ground outside, 
wearing the sash about his neck. 

A new speaker was elected, the bill was re-amerided 
to make Yankton the capital, and was thus passed, Ver- 
mihon's ambition being pacified by the location of the 
territorial university at that town. Despite the apparent 
recklessness of the members of the Pony Congress, that 
body passed an extensive code of wise laws, most of which 











are still upon the statutes of the states of South Dakota 
and North Dakota. 

It was the middle of May before the Pony Congress 
adjourned, and the closing scenes beggared everything 
in the way of coarse fun and horseplay which has char- 
acterized the many succeeding sessions. The weather 
was fine, and for three days and nights before the end 
the members indulged in a continuous open-air carousal. 
One of the incidents of those jocund days is thus de- 
scribed by Hon. Moses K. Armstrong, who was a member 
of the house of representatives: "I happened to cross 
the street one morning at the peep of day and there I be- 
held, beside a smoldering camp fire, two lusty legislators, 
Malony and McBride, holding a kicking cow by the horns, 
and a third, John Stanage, pulling his full weight at the 
cow's tail. On either side of the heifer sat Councilmen 
Bramble and Stutsman, with pails in hand, making sor- 
rowful but vain attempts at teasing milk enough from the 
quadruped to make their final pitcher of eggnog. Off 
on one side sprawled the corpulent Representative Don- 
aldson, convulsed with laughter, and in front of the scene 
stood the eloquent lawmaker Boyle (afterward justice 
of the Supreme Court) with hat, coat, and boots off, mak- 
ing a mihtary speech, and imploring the cow to give down 
in behalf of her country." 



South Dakota had little part in the Civil War. Early 
in 1862 Company A of the Dakota cavalry was recruited 
with the intention of tendering its services to the Presi- 
dent for service in the South, but it was deemed wise by 
the war department to hold it in Dakota for the protection 
of the settlements. Captain Todd, while serving in Con- 
gress, was appointed brigadier general by President Lin- 
coln, and served with credit in the Missouri campaigns. 

The midsummer of the year 1862 came on with a boun- 
tiful harvest, and every prospect was most pleasing in 
the young settlements along the Missouri and on the Sioux. 
New settlers had come to them, new homes were springing 
up on every hand, the flocks were thriving, and every one 
indulged in rosy dreams of a bright and prosperous 
future ; when suddenly out of the clear sky came the news 
of the awful outbreak and massacre by the Santee Sioux 
on the Minnesota. Instantly the bright prospect was 
changed to one of gloom. Almost with the first news of 
the outbreak came a straggling band of savages, who found 
Judge Joseph B. Amidon and his son in a hayfield at 
Sioux Falls and ruthlessly murdered them. Terror- 
stricken, the settlers left their homes, their ungathered 



crops, their cattle, swine, and poultry, and in white-faced, 
panting panic flew for their lives. 

Governor Jayne sent a detachment of soldiers to con- 
duct the settlers of Sioux Falls to Yankton, leaving all 
of their property unprotected, to be immediately stolen, 
wrecked, and burned by the savages; and so ended the 
ambitious dreams of the empire builders who had settled 
upon the Big Sioux. They wholly abandoned the place 
and several years elapsed before there was any further 
settlement at Sioux Falls. 

The settlers at Bon Homme and Yankton gathered at 
the capital, where a strong stockade was built for their 
protection ; but the country from the James River to the 
Sioux was wholly depopulated. To increase the terror 
of the little handful of pioneers who remained, the report 
came that the Yanktons. under the lead of the unrulv 
chief Mad Bull, had broken away from the influence of 
Struck by the Ree and w^ere about to join in the massacre. 
Governor Jayne called every able-bodied man in the ter- 
ritory to arms, and under the lead of the citizens of 
Yankton, commanded by Captain Frank Ziebach, and 
Company A of the Dakota Cavalry, which had been 
organized the previous spring with Nelson Miner as 
captain, a good mihtary organization was effected, and 
peace, security, and order were restored. Struck by the 
Ree asserted his loyalty and Americanism over his tribe, 
held the restless young men to his standard, and protected 
the settlements from the hostile tribes from up the river 
as well as from the straggling Santees. In a few weeks 
confidence was restored and the settlers returned to theii 



homes. Except the killing of Judge Amidon and his son 
there were no fatalities among the settlers of Dakota, 
but the fear of destruction was well founded and the panic 
and flight justified. 

During the outbreak in Minnesota, a small settlement 
of about fifty persons on Shetak Lake, in what is now 
Murray County, was attacked and destroyed by a band of 
Indians under a chief named White Lodge, who took 
captive two women, Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Duly, and 
seven children. These captives were carried through 

South and North 
Dakota to the Mis- 
souri River, where 

they were dis- 
covered the follow- 
ing November by 
Major Charles E. 
Galpin, who was 
coming down the 
river with a small 
party of miners in 
a Mackinaw boat.* 
When at the mouth 
of Beaver Creek 
in southern North Dakota, Galpin saw an Indian camp 
on the shore, and the warriors were making friendly 
motions to him to land. He drew up to the band, when 

^ A large but cheap boat intended for only a single trip down the river. 
They had long been in use among the fur traders of America, and were 
usually fastened together with wooden pins, no metal being used in their 

Trail of the Shetak Captives 


Galpin's sharp-eyed wife, an Indian woman, discovered 
armed Indians skulking in the underbrush, and she gave 
the alarm in time. Her husband cut the painter by which 
he had tied the boat, with a single blow of the hatchet, 
and received a fusillade of bullets from the bank without 
damage. While the boat was still within hearing, a white 
woman ran down to the river bank and informed the 
boatmen that there were a party of white captives in the 
Indian camp. Galpin spread this news as he passed down 
the river. 

The first point that Galpin reached, where he could 
give information, was Fort Pierre, where there was a 
trading store. There he found a party of young Indians, 
eleven in number, under the leadership of a mixed-blood 
Indian named Martin Charger, grandson of Captain 
Meriwether Lewis the explorer, who were known to 
their people as the crazy band, or fool soldier band, be- 
cause they had taken an oath to help the whites at any 
cost to themselves. This band immediately set out on 
their ponies to reach the hostile camp up the river, and, 
if possible, effect the rescue of the captives. Their names 
were Martin Charger, Kills Game and Comes Back, Four 
Bear, Mad Bear, Pretty Bear, Sitting Bear, Swift Bird, 
One Rib, Strikes Fire, Red Dog, and Charging Dog. 
Before starting they had traded their furs to the trader for 
sugar and other Indian dehcacies. They crossed the river 
at Pierre, going north on the east side. The second day 
they found a party of Yanktonais encamped at the mouth 
of Swan Creek, and w^re joined in their enterprise by 
two Yanktonais, Don't Know How and Fast Walker. 


They found that White Lodge's hostile camp had been 
movefi down the river and was then located in the fine 
timber on the east bank of the Missouri, opposite the mouth 
of Grand River, in what is now Walworth County, South 
Dakota. They pitched their tepees near the hostile camp 
and at once entered into negotiations for the rescue of 
the captives. White Lodge was not disposed to give 
them up, — absolutely refused to do so upon any terms ; 
but the boys were persistent, offered to trade their horses 
and other property for them, and after much parleying, 
bullying, and jockeying, with threats of bringing their 
people, the Tetons, and soldiers to destroy White Lodge 
and his band, they succeeded in purchasing the captives, 
trading for them everything they possessed except two 
guns and their tepee. 

The weather was severe. It was about the 20th of 
November, snow was falling, and the captives were brought 
out to them literally naked. White Lodge himself never 
consented to the trade, but the majority of his warriors 
took the responsibihty in their own hands, against his 
will, and the old man threatened to undertake the recovery 
of his captives. The boys pitched their little tepee in the 
willows on the river bank a mile or two below the hostile 
camp, wrapped the captives in their blankets, and them- 
selves tramped around the tepee in the storm to keep 
from freezing, and to guard their captives from the threat- 
ened attack of White Lodge. 

The next morning they traded one of their guns to a 
Yanktonais, who had joined the party, for his horse, to 
which they lashed one end of an arrangement of poles 


Cdrn'ing a sort of basket upon which the children could 
ride (the other end of the poles dragging on the ground), 
and started down the river for the Yanktonais camp. 
Mrs. Duly was lame, having been shot in the foot, and 
had to ride the horse. Mrs. Wright was strong and able 
to w^alk, but had no shoes. IMartin Charger took the 
moccasins from his own feet and gave them to her. As 
they were making their way slowly down the river, White 
Lodge, with a few warriors, came down to carry his 
threat into execution. 

The rear guard was placed under command of Swift 
Bird, and he made the most of a display of the two guns 
in the party. Marching as rapidly as they could, parley- 
ing and arguing with the old chief, they finally bluffed him 
off and got safely away with the captives. 

The Yanktonais, for the boys' last remaining gun, 
traded them an old cart and harness, fed them, and 
gave them a supply of food to last them until Fort 
Pierre was reached. The children were packed into the 
cart, Mrs. Duly continued to ride the pony, and the re- 
mainder of the party walked, dividing into squads who 
assisted the pony by pushing the cart along. In this way 
in two days they reached Fort Pierre, where with great 
difficulty they crossed the freezing river and were kindly 
received by their own people and the trader. Charles 
E. Primeau, the Indian trader, dressed the captives as 
well as he could from his rough stock of goods, and 
after a short rest they were taken to Fort Randall by 
Louis La Plant and Frederick Dupree, two well-known 
frontiersmen. ' 

so. DAK. — 9 


Probably there is not in history another circumstance 
similar to this, where young, untutored savages, who never 
had been under missionary influence, at such sacrifice of 
effort and of property, and with real hardship, so exerted 
themselves through sentiments of humanity. Martin 
Charger and his heroic comrades should always be held 
in veneration by the people of South Dakota. They were 
true heroes, and their brave and generous deed should 
be properly commemorated. 

The government at once undertook a strong military 
movement against the hostile Santees, who fled from . J 
their Minnesota homes into the Dakota countiy. Two 
companies of South Dakota men, under the command 
respectively of Captains Nelson Miner and William Tripp, 
and known as the Dakota Cavalry, joined in the move- 
ment, and rendered excellent service until the end of the 
War of the Outbreak, in 1865. Most of their service 
was rendered in North Dakota, as there were no engage- 
ments of any moment within the South Dakota bound- 



There were four bands of the Santee Sioux, two of 
whom, known as the Mede\vakantans and the Wakpeku- 
tas, were the leaders in the outbreak. The other two 
bands, the Wahpetons and the Sissetons, were opposed 
to the outbreak and as a rule did all that they could to 
protect and assist the whites. When the government sent 
the troops against the Santees, most of the able-bodied 
Sissetons enlisted in the government service as scouts. 
The hostiles who fled into Dakota were constantly organ- 
izing raiding parties and sending them down to the Min- 
nesota settlements to secure provisions, steal horses, and 
occasionallv kill settlers. To prevent this the Sisseton 
scouts w^ere divided up into small parties and located in 
camps, at frequent intervals, from the neighborhood of 
Devils Lake in North Dakota down to the central portion 
of South Dakota. 

Among these friendlies was a mixed-blood Sisseton 
named Samuel J. Brown, who was then a boy about 
nineteen years of age, educated, intelligent, and influen- 
tial. In the last years of the war he was made chief of 
scouts, with headquarters at Fort Sisseton, whence he 
looked after the Indian scouting camps above mentioned. 
In the month of April, 1866, at sundown one bright evcn- 




ing, an Indian runner came to Brown, with information 
that moccasin tracks had been found at a crossing of the 
James River, near Lamoure, in North Dakota, and that 
the indications were that a hostile party had gone down 

toward the settle- 

Brown wrote a dis- 
patch, stating the 
facts, to the com- 
mandant at Fort 
Abercrombie, on the 
Red River, which 
was to be sent there 
the following morn- 
ing; then, mounting 
his pony, he set out 
across the prairie di- 
rectly west, to reach a 

scouting camp fifty- 

Samuel J. Brown r -i j- ^ i. 

^ live miles distant, on 

the site of the village of Ordway, in Brown County. He 

reached this scouting camp at midnight, and was informed 

that the moccasin tracks which had caused the alarm were 

made by a party of friendly Indians who were going out 

to the Missouri River to meet the peace commissioners, 

that the peace treaties made the previous fall had been 

ratified by the government and the Indians, and that the 

war was over. 

Fearing that the dispatch which he had written to 

be sent to Fort Abercrombie would create unnecessary 


trouble and alarm, Brown at once mounted another pony 
and started back to Fort Sisseton, hoping to reach it before 
the messenger left for Abercrombie in the morning. When 
he had crossed the James River and was galloping rapidly 
across the broad, flat bottom, he was overtaken by one of 
those severe spring storms which sometimes sweep over 
Dakota, a genuine furious, blinding winter blizzard. It 
came from the northwest and he beheved he could make his 
way before it. In fact, on the bare, unprotected prairie 
there was nothing else to do ; so he forced his way along, 
doing his best to keep in the direct course to Fort Sisseton. 

When daylight came, however, he found that he had 
drifted far out of his way, and was down in the vicinity 
of the Waubay Lakes, twenty-five miles south of the fort. 
He turned his little pony in the face of the storm, which 
was increasing in severity, and fought his way to Sisse- ■ 
ton, where he arrived before nine o'clock in the morning, 
— having since sundown the previous evening traveled .^// 
a distance of more than one hundred and fiftv miles. 
He fell from his pony exhausted and paralyzed, but he 
had accomplished his purpose in the line of his duty. 

Mr. Brown, in t^o^, was still living, a respe'cted citizen 
of the town which bears his name, Brown Valley, Minne- 
sota, between Lakes Traverse and Big Stone. He never 
recovered from the evil effects of his awful exertion, and 
was never able to take a natural step from that day. 
Mr. Brown was born in South Dakota, but a few miles 
from his present home. His ride merits a place in history 
beside those famous ones which have been preserved in 
the songs and stories of the people. 



In 1865, about the time that the War of the Outbreak 
ended, the government undertook to build a highway 

from the CaHfor- 
nia trail, in the 
vicinity of Fort 
Laramie, across 
by way of the 
Powder River 
\^alley to the gold 
mines in Mon- 
tana and Idaho. 
This road was 
necessarily run 
through the rich- 
est buffalo range 
left to the Sioux 
Indians. Red 
Cloud was then 
fast coming into prominence as the principal chief of the 
Oglala Sioux. The construction of the road was intrusted 
to Colonel Sawyer, and he began work with a party of 
surveyors and an escort of only twenty-five men, from 
Company B of the Dakota Cavalry. Red Cloud met 


Scene of the Red Cloud War 


them near the Black Hills and protested against their 
entering the buflfalo country. They paid no attention to 
his protest and went forward. Red Cloud then gathered 
a large body of the Oglalas and Cheyennes and, over- 
taking Sawyer's party at the Powder River, surrounded 
them and held them in siege for a period of fifteen days. 

Red Cloud used no force, his intention being, by a show 
of strength, to bluff the roadmakers out of his country. 
At the end of two weeks the young Indians were becom- 
ing so unruly and threatening that Red Cloud did not 
longer dare continue the siege, fearing that his young men 
would get beyond his control and massacre the white men. 
He therefore withdrew his Indians, and the expedition 
moved on to the Tongue River. By this time Red Cloud 
had his young men again well in hand, and he again sur- 
rounded Sawyer and held him for three days, and then 
withdrew. He had failed in his attempt to stop the road 
building. Sawyer went on to the Yellowstone and then 
returned without molestation, but Red Cloud had resolved 
that the road should not be built. 

That fall (1865) commissioners undertook to treat 
with the Oglalas for the opening of the road, but Red 
Cloud would not permit a treaty to be made, — in fact did 
not attend the council. A new attempt was made to se- 
cure the consent of the Indians to the opening of the road, 
and at Fort Laramie on June 30, 1866, Red Cloud ad- 
dressed the commissioners in a council held under an 
improvised arbor near the fort. Mildly but firmly he told 
them that the Oglalas' last hope of subsistence lay in pre- 
serving the buffalo pastures of the Powder River country, 


and that they could not under any consideration consent 
to the opening of a highway through that region. While 
he was speaking, General Carrington, with a strong force 
of soldiers, arrived at the fort. 

"Why do these soldiers come?" asked Red Cloud. 

"They have come to build forts and open the Montana 
road," was the reply. 

Red Cloud sprang from the platform, caught up his 
rifle and brandished it before the commission, and cried, 
"In this and the Great Spirit, I trust for the right." Call- 
ing his people to follow him, he left the commission sitting 
without an audience. 

General Carrington was instructed to go out on the 
Montana road, to rebuild and garrison Fort Reno, and 
then to go on to the head waters of the Powder River, 
where he was to build a strong post. Immediately after 
leaving Fort Laramie on this mission Carrington was met 
by Red Cloud, who protested against his going into the 
country. Of course Carrington was a soldier under 
orders, and paid no attention to this protest. Red Cloud 
began a campaign of annoyance and attacks upon the 
soldiers, which rendered their mission very hazardous 
and exceedingly difficult. 

Leaving a small garrison at Fort Reno, the main body 
went on to the foot of the Big Horn Mountains, where 
Fort Phil Kearney was built. There, throughout the 
season, while the soldiers were engaged in building Fort 
Kearney and supplying it with fuel. Red Cloud kept up 
the most tantalizing tactics, and it was soon unsafe for 
any white person to be outside of the stockade unless 



protected by a large detachment of military. General 
Carrington reported that "a team could not be sent to 
the wood yard nor a load of hay brought in from the 
meadows unless it was accompanied by a strong guard. 
The first hunters sent out came in themselves hunted, 
and though there was an abundance of game in the vicinity 
no hunter was brave enough to stalk it." A reign of terror 
grew up among the civilians so that none of the teamsters 
would leave the stockade for wood or supplies unless 
accompanied by many soldiers. Attacks upon the wood 
guard were of almost daily occurrence, and the result 
was always to the advantage of the Indians. 

Red Cloud had by this time assembled an army of not 
less than three thousand men, with their famihes, and this 
vast concourse of people he fed and clothed while keeping 
Fort Phil Kearney almost in a state of siege. Finally, on 
the twenty-first day of December, 1866, Red Cloud ap- 
peared in force between Fort Phil Kearney and the wood 
camp seven miles distant. Captain Fetterman, with a 
force of eighty-one men, was sent out to drive him away. 
The Indians craftily led Fetterman into an ambush and his 
entire force was destroyed. Not one man lived to come 
back and tell the story. Throughout the following year 
the Indians kept up this mode of warfare and were per- 
fectly successful in preventing the opening of the Montana 
road. Not a single wagon was ever able to pass over it. 
On the ist of August, 1867, another severe battle was 
fought between the whites and Indians at the wood camp ; 
both parties lost heavily, but the Indians' loss was much 
the greater. 



By this time the people of the countr>' had begun to 
think that perhaps Red Cloud was fighting for a principle, 
and the President was prevailed upon to send out a com- 
mission whose duty it was to ascertain the real occasion 
of the war, and to negotiate a treaty of peace if it was 
thought wise to do so. Generals Sherman, Harney, 
Terry, and Auger were members of this commission. 

The commission sent 
Swift Bear, a friendly 
Brule Indian, to Red 
Cloud's army on the 
Powder River, and in- 
vited Red Cloud to 
meet the commission- 
ers at Fort Laramie. 
Red Cloud declined to 

come down, but sent 

word to the commis- 
sioners by the well- 
known chief Man 
Afraid of His Horses, 
that his war against 
the whites was to save the valley of the Powder River, 
the only hunting ground left to his nation, from white 
intrusion. He told the commissioners that whenever the 
military garrisons at Fort Phil Kearney, Fort C. F. Smith, 
and Fort Reno were withdrawn, the war on his part would 
cease. The commissioners sent word to him, asking for 
a truce until a council could be held. Red Cloud replied 
that he would meet them the next spring or summer. 

Red Cloud 


Early in che spring of 1868 the commissioners returned 
to Fort Laramie and met there some leading Indians whom 
Red Cloud had sent to them, but he did not himself come 
down. On the 29th of April a treaty was signed, which 
provided that the troops should be withdrawn from Forts 
Phil Kearney, C. F. Smith, and Reno, and that all attempts 
to open the Montana road should be abandoned. A 
great reservation' was made for the use of the Indians, 
extending from the mouth of the Niobrara River west to 
the Big Horn Mountains, thence north to the Yellowstone 
River, then east by the Cannonball to the Missouri and 
down the Missouri to the Niobrara. All of the Sioux 
tribes joined in giving up to the government all of the 
lands they possessed outside of this great reservation. 
The government agreed that no white men or soldiers 
should at any time enter this reservation without the con- 
sent of the Indians. 

It was particularly important that Red Cloud should 
sign this treaty, but he failed to come in for the purpose. 
Messengers were sent to him, but he sent back word 
that he thought he should wait until the forts were aban- 
doned, and the roads closed up, before he signed ; and so 
matters dragged along month after month. Finally, at 
the end of August, upon the advice of the peace commis- 
sioners, the government determined to take the chief at 
his word, and on the 27th of that month all of the troops 
were withdrawn. 

Red Cloud at the time was watching operations from 
his buffalo camp on the Powder River, and when a mes- 
senger was sent to him to tell him that the troops had been 


taken away, he said it was so late in the season that he 
thought he would make his winter's meat before he came 
down to meet the commissioners. This caused great un- 
easiness in mihtary quarters and in the Indian department, 
for it was feared that Red Cloud did not intend to keep 
faith. However, when he had finished his fall's work, 
he appeared at Fort Laramie (November 6) and signed 
the treaty, which was duly ratified by the Senate on Feb- 
ruary 1 6, 1869, and was proclaimed by President Andrew 
Johnson on February 24. Thus the great Red Cloud 
War came to an end. 

Red Cloud had been entirely successful and obtained 
everything he was fighting for. It is the only instance 
in the history of the United States in which the govern- 
ment has gone to war and afterward made a peace con- 
ceding everything demanded by the enemy and exacting 
nothing in return. From the date of this peace Red 
Cloud faithfully observed its terms and, according to In- 
dian standards, lived a good life. At~mefe-4haii eighty-^ 
years of age, in 1905, he- Avas still living at Pine Ridge 
agency, near the Black Hills. 

1^ OCj 


^ ( 9 L f-f t <H^ 



During the period from 1862 until 1875 the white 
settlements in South Dakota made little progress. Popu- 
lation was increasing somewhat, but farmers had diffi- 
culty in learning the way of the soil, and got but small 
return for their labor. 

The prairie soil in a comparatively dry climate requires 
different methods of cultivation from the heavy clay soils 
of the more humid eastern states. The time of year when it 
should be plowed, the quantity and variety of seed to be 
sown, and the manner of cultivation of the growing crop 
are all different, but the new settlers of those early days 
did not quite understand these facts, and for a long time 
tried to farm in the same way their fathers had done in 
the eastern states. Only after long and painful experi- 
ence did they work out methods adapted to our soil and 
climate. For instance, they had learned to make high 
beds or ridges in the vegetable gardens, on the top of 
which the crop was planted, and the cornfields were 
worked up in high ridges that the rain water might drain 
away. Here experience finally taught them to work their 
soil flat, so that all of the water falling may be husbanded 
for the benefit of the growing crop. 



These lirst Dakota pioneers also were plagued with 
invasions of grasshoppers which came in great clouds 
and ate up their scanty crops. This occurred in five 
diflfcrent years: 1863, 1864, 1867, 1874, and 1876.' Since 
then the grasshoppers have made no ravages in the Da- 
kota country. 

The Indians behaved very well, after the close of the 
Red Cloud War, until, in violation of the treaty, the sur- 
veyors for the Northern Pacific Railroad began to extend 
the survey for that line through the reservation, along the 
south bank of the Yellowstone, and the government sent 
soldiers to protect the surveyors in their work. The 
Uncpapa Sioux were the wildest of the nation and as yet 
had come very Httle under reservation or agency in- 
fluence, but chiefly roamed back in the buffalo country 
on the Powder and Rosebud rivers. They were much 
alarmed by the approach of the surveyors, and organized 
under Gall and Sitting Bull to resist the encroachments 
upon their land. There were several sharp encounters 
along the Yellowstone River, with a loss of but few men 
on either side. 

In 1874 General George A. Custer was sent out from 
Fort Abraham Lincoln, on the Missouri River opposite 
Bismarck, with a force of twelve hundred soldiers, to 
make an examination of the Black Hills region. Custer 
did this without encountering any Indians until he 
reached the Custer Park in the Black Hills, when he 
came upon a small band who were there stripping lodge 
poles. These Indians were greatly alarmed at the ap- 
proach of Custer'3 a,rny in the heart of their reservation, 


and they hastened off with the news to their home camps 
on the Cheyenne River. The news flew rapidly among 
the Indians at the various agencies, and caused much 

Custer found gold in the Black Hills, on the 2d day of 
August, and he immediately sent the report to army 
headquarters, whence it was published to the world, and 
men everywhere set out to enter the new eldorado. The 
army was instructed to keep all white men out of the 
Black Hills until a treaty had been negotiated with the 
Indians, and the Sioux were notified that no one would be 
allowed to enter their reservation until such a treaty 
was made. With this assurance the Indians sensibly 
decided to let matters take their course. The military 
used every means possible to keep the gold hunters out 
of the Hills, but many of them succeeded in entering, 
and the reports they sent out only served to increase the 
gold fever, and the determination of others to enter. 

It was not until the autumn of 1875 that all of the Sioux 
people were summoned to meet in council at Red Cloud's 
agency to make a treaty for the sale of their lands. Sena- 
tor WiUiam B. AlHson, of Iowa, was the chairman of the 
commission sent out by the government to make such a 
treaty. Under the terms of the treaty of 1868, which had 
created the great Sioux reservation, it was provided that 
no part of that reservation should be sold or disposed of 
unless three fourths of all the adult male Indians inter- 
ested in the reservation should sign the treaty of sale or 
relinquishment. Feeling certain that it would be impos- 
sible to get three fourths of the Indians to sign the treaty 


of sale, the commissioners decided not to ask the Indians 
to sell their lands at all, but to sell the right to mine gold 
and other metals in the Black Hills. Senator Allison, in 
opening the treaty council, said, "We have now to ask 
you if you are willing to give our people the right to mine 
in the Black Hills, as long as gold or other valuable 
metals are found, for a fair and just sum. When the 
gold or other valuable minerals are taken away, the 
country will again be yours to dispose of in any manner 
you may wish." 

After nearly three weeks of counciling and bargaining 
and speechmaking the commissioners found it impossible 
to make any treaty whatever, upon what were deemed 
reasonable terms by the government. The Indians, too, 
had scattered until much less than the necessary three 
fourths remained at the council. Therefore, the council 
was broken up without accomphshing anything. 

Immediately thereafter the army withdrew all opposi- 
tion to the miners entering the Black Hills, and within a 
few months at least fifteen thousand men were hunting 
for gold upon the Indian lands. The Indians were 
alarmed and indignant. They believed their lands were 
to be taken from them without any payment whatever, 
and they resolved to organize a grand army and drive 
the invaders away. No one may say that theirs was 
not a brave and patriotic undertaking. They were to 
fight for their homes, their lands, and the graves of their 

At once the young men began to slip away from the 
agencies and to assemble in great camps, near the Big 


Horn Mountains, in the bufifalo country along the Powder, 
the Tongue, and the Rosebud. They were led by great 
war chiefs, — Crazy Horse, Black Moon, Gall, Inkpa- 
duta, the brutal old Wakpekuta who had murdered the 
settlers at Spirit Lake, — and they were counseled and 
advised by Sitting Bull and other crafty medicine men. 
It was their purpose, when their plans had been per- 
fected, to descend upon the Black Hills and drive out the 
miners. There is much dispute about the number of 
warriors gathered in these camps, but there certainly 
were not less than twenty-five hundred, and possibly there 
were thirty-five hundred. 

The government sent word to these Indians to come in 
at once to their reservations and settle down as good 
Indians should, or they would be regarded as hostile and 
must suffer the consequences. A great campaign was 
planned against them. General Crook was to lead an 
army up from Fort Laramie, General Gibbon was to 
bring another column down from Fort Ellis, Montana, 
and General Terry was to lead a third diAdsion out from 
Fort Abraham Lincoln. The hostiles were to be caught 
between the three converging armies and crushed. 

Crook was first to come in contact with the Indians. 
He met a large body of them, under Crazy Horse, on the 
Rosebud on the 17th of June, 1876, and a hard battle 
was fought. Crook suffered so seriously that he was 
compelled to return to his base of supplies, near old Fort 
Phil Kearney, and so his part of the campaign proved a 

Terry reached the Yellowstone at the mouth of the 

so. DAK. — 10 


Rosebud on the 21st of June, and then sent General 
Custer up the Yellowstone to locate the hostile tribes, 
while he himself went on with his steamboat to the mouth 
of the Big Horn, to ferry Gibbon's column across. Custer 
went up the Rosebud until he found where the trail of 
the hostiles led over the divide, westward, into the valley 
of the Little Big Horn. There, on the 26th of June, he 
came upon the entire hostile camp. 

Custer divided his force of about eight hundred men 
into three columns: one, under Captain Benteen, was 
sent across the valley of the Little Big Horn, south of the 
camp, to cut off a retreat in that direction; the second 
column, under Major Reno, was to attack the upper or 
south end of the camp, where it lay along the west bank 
of the Little Big Horn; and the third column, under 
Custer himself,, went down the east side of the Little 
Big Horn, expecting to attack the north or lower end of 
the camp. Reno made the attack, and was quickly re- 
pulsed by overwhelming numbers. Though driven back, 
he made a junction with Benteen, and the two columns 
fortified for defense. Custer went down to the lower 
end of the camp and rode into an ambush, where his 
entire command of two hundred sixty-three men was 
destroyed. Benteen and Reno were besieged in their 
camp, and the Indians fought desperately until their 
ammunition was exhausted. Then they retreated into the 
Big Horn Mountains, broke up into little parties, and 
scattered over the Indian country, many of them return- 
ing to the agencies. 

Terry arrived on the Custer battleground, on the Little 



Custer and the Battle ok the Little Big Horn 



Big Horn, the morning after the Indians left. The 
Indians, without ammunition, were unable to follow up 
the advantage they had gained, and the government at 
once threw a strong force into the field ; but the Indians 
kept out of reach, and no engagements of any conse- 
quence were fought. The government sent to the vari- 
ous agencies and disarmed all of the Indians and took 
their horses away from them, leaving them quite helpless. 
Gall, Sitting Bull, and the most influential of the hostiles 
escaped into Canada. 

In the fall (1876) the government sent out a new 
commission to treat for the cession of the Black Hills. 
Disregarding the provision of the treaty of 1868 which 
required the signatures of three fourths of all of the adult 
male Indians to any treaty which disposed of any of the 
lands, this commission went about from agency to agency 
and secured the signatures of only a few of the chiefs at 
each place. This treaty sold the Black Hills outright to 
the government, in return for which the government 
agreed to support the Indians until such time as they had 
progressed far enough to enable them to support them- 

There has always been a dispute between the Indians 
and the white men about the terms in this treaty. Most 
of the Indians were present and heard Senator Allison 
tell them in 1875 that the whites wished only to buy the 
right to mine, and they never were called into council to 
hear any other provision discussed. The impression 
therefore went out, among the Indians, that the treaty of 
1876 gave to the white men only the right to mine in the 


Black Hills, and did not sell any land. This is still a 
matter of much interest and discussion in the Indian 
eamps;- a nd t he Ind tang— iTr-1904 appointed a general 
ciHnmittee to go to Washington and insist upon what 
they deem their rights. 




The year 1874 was one of the most distressing which 
the American people ever suffered. The great reaction- 
ary crash in business affaii», following the great boom 
which came after the war, had fallen in September, 1873. 
Not only were thousands of great fortunes wiped out, but 
everywhere, from the poorest cottage to the grandest 
mansion, the pinch of hard times was felt. At no time 
have the people been more despairing and hopeless. 

On the evening of August 2, 1874, William McKay, an 
expert miner with Custer's expedition in the Black Hills, 
went down to the bank of French Creek, a few yards 
from the camp, and washed out a pan of earth. When 
the earth was gone, he held up his pan in the evening sun 
and found the rim lined with nearly a hundred little 
particles of gold. These he carried in at once to General 
Custer, whose head was almost turned at the sight. Cus- 
ter, as we have seen, at once sent a dispatch about this 
discovery to the army headquarters in St. Paul. It was 
received there on the evening of August 11, and the next 
morning the papers throughout America announced to 
the discouraged people that rich gold mines had been 
discovered in the Black Hills. 

There was magic in the announcement, and drooping 



spirits everywhere revived. Thousands of despondent 
men resolved at once to recover their fortunes in southern 
Dakota. The action of the mihtary in preventing the 
entry of the miners into the Black Hills cooled the ardor 
of many of them, but that very obstacle made the people 
believe that the army was guarding a vast storehouse of 
wealth, and that fortunes were awaiting them. Some, 
hardy enough to pass the barrier, sent out reports of rich 
finds, and this increased the determination of very many 
to get into the Hills. 

To the people of southern Dakota, after the long years 
of dreary struggle through Indian troubles, grasshoppers, 
and bad crops, the Black Hills gold excitement seemed 
a godsend. The settlements along the Missouri were 
thronged with determined strangers waiting for an oppor- 
tunity to slip into the Hills. Transportation companies 
were organized, roadmakers were sent out, and all was 
activity and excitement. Almost daily some miner would 
creep back from the Hills with exaggerated stories of the 
wealth of the diggings. Every one was sure that the 
treaty for the opening of the Black Hills would be made 
at once, when there would be wealth for everybody. 

The route to the Hills, in which the Dakota people 
were interested, was advertised everywhere as the Yank- 
ton route. It was by railroad to Yankton, thence by 
steamboat to Fort Pierre, where stages were taken for 
the remaining one hundred and seventy-five miles into 
the diggings. The advantages and pleasures of this 
route were represented most extravagantly in the adver- 


Although more than a year passed before military op- 
position to entering the Hills was withdrawn, there was 
no abatement of popular interest in the gold diggings. 
Late in the fall of 1874, a party organized at Sioux City 
had slipped into the Hills by way of northern Nebraska, 
and had built a stockade on French Creek near the site of 
the present city of Custer. They were removed by the 
military in the early spring, and the reports they brought 
out served to increase the gold excitement throughout 

During this period the prospecting for gold was in 
the placers along the streams in the vicinity of Custer; 
although gold was found generally distributed in that 
region, these diggings never proved to be particularly 
rich. Late in the fall of 1875 John B. Pearson, of Yank- 
ton, made his way over into the Deadwood gulch in 
the northern Hills, and discovered rich placer diggings. 
The following winter was severe, with very deep snow, 
but many thousand miners assembled at Custer and in 
that vicinity. Custer city is said to have had eleven 
thousand population on the ist of March. As the 
snows began to disappear in the spring, word was re- 
ceived of Pearson's find in the Deadwood gulch, and there 
was a stampede for the northern Hills. In a day Custer 
was practically depopulated. It is said that less than a 
hundred people remained, where so many thousands 
were making their homes but the day before. 

During the next summer there were not less than 
twenty-five thousand people in the Deadwood gulch. 
They were trespassers upon the Indian land. The laws 



of Dakota territory could not reach them. The United 
States government could only regard them as being in 
contempt of law. The excitement had brought there 
not only thousands of honest men, who hoped to secure 

Deadwood Gulch in the Seventies 

fortunes in the search for gold, but also many hundreds 
of the most desperate gamblers and criminals in America. 
The community had to protect itself. The miners met, 
organized a government, elected officers, established 
courts, and succeeded in maintaining order to a creditable 
degree. Of course, in such a community as existed in 



Deadwood in 1876, many crimes were committed, but 
most of them were promptly punished. INIany of those 
pioneer gold diggers are still living among the most suc- 
cessful and most respected men of South Dakota. It 

Deadwood City in the Seventies 

will always be to their great credit that in this period of 
excitement they possessed the good sense and the courage 
to uphold the dignity of organized society. 

While the sturdy miners were thus protecting themselves 
from these great dangers from within, an even greater 
peril threatened them from without. The Sioux Indians, 


jealous of these trespassers upon their land, lay in wait 
behind every rock, and few white men who straggled 
away from the main camps without protection were 
spared. This condition, however, ended as soon as the 
treaty of 1876 was signed in the fall of that year. By 
1877 the laws of South Dakota were executed throughout 
the mining country; federal courts were established, and 
the region of the Black Hills at once became the quiet, 
rich, safe, well-organized part of the country that it has 
continued to be. 



The discovery of gold in the Black Hills had turned 
the eyes of the world upon South Dakota, and many who 
had come out to find gold had found the boundless 
prairies of fertile soil and were led to believe that they 
were intended by Providence for the happy homes of 
men. Among those who came into Dakota during the 
gold excitement was Marvin Hughitt, president of the 
Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. The purpose of 
his visit was to assist in establishing a line of transporta- 
tion into the Black Hills, by way of his railroads to the 
Missouri, and thence by steamboat and stage. While on 
this errand, he was impressed with the vast possibilities 
of the Dakota prairies, if only railroads were built to bring 
in supplies and carry out the products. He went home 
resolved to try a great experiment in western development. 
He believed that the railroad should be the pioneer, lead- 
ing the way for the settler, and that if such railroads were 
built in the Dakota prairie, settlers would flock in and, 
by their industry, provide freight for the railways that 
would make the investment profitable. 

President Hughitt laid the plan before his directors 
and it was approved, and as speedily as possible he under- 



took its execution. His plan was also adopted by his 
great rival, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Rail- 
way, and more than two thousand miles of new railroad 
were quickly built out into the unsettled part of Dakota, 
furnishing convenient access to every portion of southern 
Dakota east of the Missouri River. 

Mr. Hughitt's faith was more than justified. Almost 
in a day, population spread all over the broad land, 
towns were built, farms opened, schools established, 
churches erected, and in the briefest possible time the 
wilderness was converted into a thriving, prosperous, 
productive, well-settled x\merican commonwealth, having 
all the conveniences and comforts and institutions of 
the older states. This period, from 1877 until 1883, is 
known as the great Dakota boom. History has no other 
instance to compare with it. 

When this period began, Sioux Falls was but a little 
village of three or four hundred people, and was the 
northernmost point of any consequence within what is 
now South Dakota. Within five years Brookings, Madi- 
son, Mitchell, Huron, Pierre, Watertown, Redfield, 
Aberdeen, Webster, and Milbank had become impor- 
tant cities. When the boom began, of course, no one 
had anv information as to which were to become the 
important cities, and which were to remain simply way 
stations and country trading points. Ambitious men, 
men of great ability, settled in about equal numbers in 
each of these villages, and each set out to make his town 
the chief city of the locality. The rivalry between the 
various towns, therefore, became very strong, and re- 



suited in many incidents that were very funny, and in 
disappointments that were pathetic. 

Every village was ambitious to become the county seat 
of its county, and contests were entered into which even 
to this day influence the affairs of many communities. 

State Normal School, Madison 

Men with learning and ability to grace the United States 
Senate have frequently spent the best years of their lives 
in a vain attempt to develop a village, intended by nature 
and environment simply as a local market for farm 
products, into a commercial city, and sometimes they 
have succeeded at the expense of a neighboring village 
much better situated. In several instances county seat 


contests resulted in actual violence, particularly in the 
fight between Redfield and Ashton, in Spink County, in 
which it was necessary for the governor to send the 
territorial militia to preserve peace and protect the county 



The year 1880 brought a greater inflow of new settlers 
than had come in any previous year. They were chiefly 
homesteaders, who built temporary homes — shacks, 
they were called — for the summer, and devoted their 
efforts chiefly to breaking up the soil, making hay, and 
producing such crops as could be grown upon the sod, 
leaving the construction of more substantial and per- 
manent buildings until the autumn months ; for the 
experience of older settlers had taught that glorious 
autumn weather, extending on until nearly the holidays, 
might reasonably be expected. But in this year, a year 
when of all years it was most unseasonable, a great bliz- 
zard came at the middle of October. In a hundred years 
of western history such a thing had occurred but once or 
twice before, and in those instances the October storms 
were less severe than that which came upon the unpro- 
tected settlers in 1880. The snow fell to a ver}^ great 
depth and was blown by a violent wind until the open 
shacks and stables were filled, ravines were drifted full 
to the level of the general country, stock was driven away 
or smothered in the drifts, and the settlers suffered very 
severely. A few lives were lost; very few indeed, con- 






sidering the severity of the weather and the exposed con- 
dition of the people. 

Every one believed that the snow would melt away and 
that we should yet have our glorious late autumn, but 
such was not to be; the October blizzard was the be- 

How THE Railroads fight the Snow at the Present Day 

ginning of a winter the like of which tes not before or 
^^^; since been known. The snow did not go off, and early in 
November an additional fall came, to which additions 
were made from week to week. The railroads, as yet 
unprotected by snow fences, were covered with drifts, and 
it was \\ith great difficulty that trains were moved at all. 

so. DAK. — 1 1 



By New Year's Day operation of the trains was given up 
entirely. The stocks of goods in the country were natu- 
rally small, and the difficulty of operating the trains in the 
fall had in many instances made it impossible to get in 
the usual winter supplies. 

The supply of fuel in the country was exhausted almost 
as soon as the trains stopped running. There was, how- 
ever, an abundance of wheat and of hay, and soon the 
settlers were reduced to the necessity of grinding wheat 
m coffee mills, and baking their bread upon fires made 
of twisted hay. 

One of the great inconveniences was the lack of any 
material out of which to make lights. Kerosene oil was 
not to be secured at any price, and the stock of tallow 
was very small. Many families were compelled to sit for 
months through the long winter without a light of any 
kind in their houses except the glow of a hay fire. 

To save the limited supplies on hand and particularly 
to secure the advantage of warmth without consuming 
too much fuel, families would club together and several 
of them live in the most comfortable home in the com- 
munity. Most of the people were young, vigorous, and 
hopeful, and they made the best of the bad circumstances. 
Every one exerted himself to be cheerful, and to keep 
those about him in a cheerful temper. Many an old 
settler will to-day refer to the bad winter of 1880 as one 
of the most enjoyable he ever passed. Dancing was a 
favorite pastime, and the number of persons who could be 
accommodated, for a dancing party, in a little homestead 
shack, is a matter of astonishment to those who enjoy 


that recreation in the spacious halls of to-day. Morti- 
mer Crane Brown, who spent that winter as a pioneer in 
Lincoln County, has told us in verse of the joys of a coun- 
try dance during the snow blockade : — 

When the Snow is on the Prairie 

When the snow is on the prairie 

An' the drift is in the cut, 
An' life gets a trifle dreary 

Joggin' in the same old rut, 
Nothing like a good old fiddle 

Takes the wrinkles out o' things. 
There's the chirp o' larks an' robins 

In the twitter ov 'er strings. 

When the whizzin', roarin' blizzard 

Is a shuttin' out the day, 
An' the balmy breath of summer 

Seems a thousand years away, 
You can start the eaves a drippin' 

With the tinglin' ov 'er strings, 
You kin hear the water bubbhn' 

From a dozen dancin' springs. 

Rub the bow across the rosin, 

Twist the peg an' sound your A, 
There'll be bobolinks a clinkin' 

When you once begin ter play; 
Bees'll waller in the clover, 

Blossoms whisper in the sun, 
All the world a runnin' over 

With the sunshine an' the fun. 


Git the gals and boys together. 

"Pardners all for a quadrille," 
Cheeks aglow with frosty weather, 

Hearts that never felt a chill; 
Youth an' music never weary, 

Tho' they meet in hall or hut — 
When the sun is on the prairie 

An' the drift is in the cut. 

"Sashy by an' s'lute yer pardners. 
Sashy back an' how d'ye do ! " 

Everybody's feelin' funny 
An' the fiddle feels it too. 

Out o' doors the storm may sputter, 
But within the skies are bright, 

Pansies peekin' out, an' butter- 
Cups a bobbin' in the light. 

O, the joy of healthful pleasure! 

O, the trip of tireless feet ! 
While the fiddle fills each measure 

With its music wild an' sweet; 
Glints of sun the shadows vary, 

Though from out the world we're shut, 
When the snow is on the prairie 

An' the drift is in the cut. 

During that winter Dakota had an actual snowfall. 
on the average, of more than twelve feet ; much snow re- 
mained upon the ground until late in April, and then, 
under the influence of a warm south wind, was converted 
into water in a single day. The broad prairies were simply 


a great sea, while the valleys were filled with roaring tor- 
rents. Great damage was done to property, particularly 
at Sioux Falls and along the Missouri. The troubles on 
the Missouri were greatly increased by a gorge of ice which 
formed at the mouth of James River, and backed the 
water up that stream until the city of Yankton was flooded ; 
and then when the gorge finally broke, it carried away 
the town of Vermilion, which then was located below the 
hill. Fortunately the loss of life was very small, but the 
loss of property was terrific, and fell very heavily upon 
settlers who had not yet accumulated a reserve fund in 
cash to assist them over such an emergency. 

Yankton was then a railroad terminus, and at that 
point began the commerce by steamboat up the Missouri 
River. Fifteen steamboats were on the ways at Yankton 
when the flood came. Great cakes of ice went hurtling 
against them, crushing holes in their sides, snapping im- 
mense hawsers, and tossing them into a common jumble. 
Green Island, a beautiful little village under the timber, 
across the channel from Yankton, was utterly destroyed, 
and since then the main channel of the Missouri has passed 
over the spot where the village formerly prospered. 



When Dakota territor\' was created in March, 1861, 
it comprised the land now occupied not only by the states 
of South Dakota and North Dakota, but also by part of 
Wyoming and most of Montana. In 1864 Montana was 
organized as a territory, and in 1868 Wyoming also was 
cut off, leaving only North and South Dakota within the 
territorial boundary. 

As early as 1872 the pioneers, looking forward to the 
time when all of the territory would be populated, and so- 
licitous for the convenience and interests of their children, 
began to agitate for the division of Dakota territory upon 
the 46th parallel, making two territories of equal size; 
and the territorial legislature petitioned Congress to take 
action in the matter. No action, however, was taken, 
and there was really no great interest in the subject until, 
in the autumn of 1879, some speculative gentlemen began 
to talk of buying the entire amount of school land in the 
territory at a low figure. 

The school lands consisted of two sections in every 
congressional township, set apart by the United States 
government for the creation of a pex'manent public school 
fund out of the proceeds of their sale. At that time 




scarcely a farm in the territory was worth so much as 
ten dollars an acre. The proposition, howeVer, to buy the 
school lands at a nominal price came to the attention of 
General W. H. H. Beadle, then territorial superintendent 
of public instruction, and he promptly inaugurated a 
movement to prevent 
such action. He de- 
clared that the people 
should adopt, as an 
irrevocable condition, 
that not one acre of our 
school lands should be 
sold for less than the 
sum of ten dollars. This 
proposition seemed like 
a hopeless dream, even 
to the most hopeful of 
the Dakotans, but 
General Beadle stood 
strongly for it. 

Fearing that a scheme 
might be worked 
through Congress to 
sell the school lands for a small price, General Beadle 
believed that safety lay only in the division and admission 
of the Dakotas as states, and in placing the ten-dollar 
principle in the constitution, and he joined the two plans 
into one general movement, for the success of which he 
talked and wrote constantly. In this work he was loyally 
assisted by Governor Howard, Dr. Joseph Ward, president 

General W. H. H. Beadle 


of Yankton College, and Rev. Stewart Sheldon, and, though 
the price of land did not increase very rapidly, he had, by 

1882, so impressed his views upon the people that it was 
generally said that the ten-dollar idea should be made the 

The first wide-reaching movement in this direction was 
a convention of citizens held at Canton, June 21, 1882, 
when an executive committee was appointed to prohiote 
the division and statehood idea. This committee carried 
the matter to the territorial legislature the next winter 
and secured the passage of a bill providing for a con- 
stitutional convention for South Dakota, but the bill 
was vetoed by Governor Ordway. This veto caused 
much indignation among the people of South Dakota 
and did very much to arouse the people to the necessity 
of prompt action. The executive committee thereupon 
called a delegate convention to meet at Huron, June 19, 

1883. Every county in South Dakota was there represented 
by its strongest men. Its action was most calm and 
dignified. A solemn ordinance was passed providing for 
a constitutional convention for the south half of Dakota 
territory to be held at the city, of Sioux Falls on Sep- 
tember 4 of that year. 

Pursuant to this ordinance, an election was held for 
delegates and they assembled at Sioux Falls in September. 
Hon. Bartlett Tripp was elected president of the conven- 
tion, which was composed of the ablest men from every 
community. An excellent constitution was framed, and 
submitted to the people at the November election, and 
adopted by an almost unanimous vote. A committee of 



the convention, composed of Bartlett Tripp, Hugh J. 
Campbell, Gideon C. Moody, and Arthur C. Mellette, 
carried this constitution to Congress and asked that it be 
accepted, and that South Dakota be admitted to the 
Union; but without avail. 

The next legislature, by law, provided for a new con- 
stitutional convention to be held in Sioux Falk in Septem- 
ber, 1885. Meanwhile 
General Beadle had 
carried on his agitation 
for ten -dollar school 
land, and the principle 
was adopted by the 
new constitutional con- 
vention. The consti- 
tution framed by this 
convention was duly 
ratified by the people 
at the November elec- 
tion, and a complete 
set of state officers 
were elected, together with members of Congress and a 
legislature. Arthur C. Mellette was elected governor. 
Huron was chosen for the temporaiy capital. The new 
(state) legislature met at Huron on December 15 and 
elected Gideon C. Moody and Alonso J. Edgerton as 
United States senators. Oscar S. Gifford and Theodore 
D. Kanouse had been elected members of the lower 
house of Congress. 

These gentlemen and the governor carried the new con- 

Bartlett Tripp 


stitution to Congress with a prayer for admission. South 
Dakota was a' strongly RepubHcan community, while 
the national government at this time was dominated by 
the Democratic party, and Congress objected to the ad- 
mission of a state which was certain to send Republican 
United States senators to cut down the narrow majority 
of the Democrats in that body. Consequently the prayer 
for admission was denied, the officers elected under the 
proposed constitution had no power, and the territorial 
government continued as beforCo 

The Democratic leaders declared for admission of 
Dakota territory as a whole, and the federal government 
used its mfluence to oppose the division movement in 
Dakota; therefore, a considerable party grew up in 
Dakota in opposition to division, but at every test the 
people pronounced strongly for two states. The popu- 
lation o£ Dakota was increasing rapidly, there were nearly 
six hundred, thousand white citizens in the territory, and, 
under the territorial form of government, they were de- 
nied many of the privileges of citizenship. Yet year after 
year passed without action for their relief. 

The Republican national convention of 1888 made the 
division and admission of North and South Dakota a 
national issue and it was discussed from every platform 
in America. The Republican party prevailed in that 
election, and, before the close of the Congress then in 
existence, the bill for the division of Dakota territory and 
the admission of North and South Dakota was passed on 
St. Valentine's Day and approved on Washington's 
Birthday, 1889, and that bill provided that no acre of 


school land in South Dakota or North Dakota should ever 
be sold for less than the sum of ten dollars. A new con- 
stitutional convention met at Sioux Falls on July 4 of that 
year, with power only to amend and resubmit the consti- 
tution of 1885. The constitution was submitted to the 
people at an election on the first day of October. They 
approved it, and on the second day of November, 1889, 
President Harrison issued his proclamation, admitting 
South Dakota as a state in the Unionc North Dakota 
was admitted as another state by the same proclamation. 
Statehood was welcomed by the people with real rejoic- 
ing. As a territory the people had no part in the election 
of a President, nor in the legislation by Congress, and 
all of the conditions of territorial life tended to make 
a people dependent rather than self-reliant. The chief 
concern of the people of Dakota, however, during the 
ten years' fight for statehood, had been for the division of 
the territory into two states. In this they were moved by 
motives of the highest patriotism. The leaders of that 
period beHeved that it would be a crime for them to sit 
idly by and permit the great territory to become one state, 
with but two members of the United States Senate, thus 
entailing to posterity forever a sort of political vassalage 
to the small states of the eastern seaboard. Besides this 
there was at that period an inherent difference between 
the people of South Dakota and those of the North. 
South Dakota was chiefly occupied by homesteaders, who 
brought with them the conservative notions of small 
farmers, about pubhc and private economy, morality, and 
education. On the other hand North Dakota was in the 


beginning chiefly settled by bonanza farmers, captains of 
industry, who came with large means, buying great areas 
of land and farming upon extensive lines. They and 
their camp followers were adventurous men whose 
traditions were entirely at variance with those of the 
homesteaders of the South, and the result was constant 
friction between the two elements. The progress of time, 
and new immigration to the western portion of North 
Dakota, has materially modified conditions there. 



South Dakota became a state of the Union during the 
period of reaction from the great Dakota boom. That 
boom brought to us not only many adventurers and pro- 
moters, but also a large class of honest but inexperienced 
persons, — mercantile clerks, factory hands, and me- 
chanics, — who were attracted by the free government 
lands and who came to make farm homes, but who had 
no experience as farmers. Even those who knew how to 
farm in the eastern states found that eastern conditions 
did not apply to Dakota conditions and Dakota soil. The 
successful method of working our soil had to be learned 
by sore experience. It is no wonder, then, that thousands 
who came with high hopes of building homes and accumu- 
lating riches were sorely disappointed. Many of them, 
in utter discouragement, gave up their homesteads and 
returned to the East, where the impression became deep- 
rooted that Dakota was a failure. Following closely upon 
this reaction came a period of really bad crop years. A 
great drought in 1889 and 1890 made the crops in many 
counties a total failure. 

Just at this time, also, a great religious excitement 
overwhelmed the Teton Sioux Indians, causing great 




uneasiness and even terror to the pioneers upon the 
frontier. The Indians meant no harm and it is prob- 
able that the excitement would have soon died away had 
they been left to themselves; but the military, fearing 
that the excitement would result in outbreak and hos- 
tihties, undertook to suppress the religious fervor, and 
this movement resulted in what is known as the Messiah 

This religious movement among the Indians originated 
with a Paiute Indian named Wovoka, who lived near 
Pyramid Lake, Nevada. He spoke English fairly well 
and had some education. He claimed to have had a vision 
on January i, 1889, in which he was taken up to heaven. 
He found it a pleasant land and full of game. He was 
instructed to go back to earth and preach goodness and 
peace and industry to his people, who, if they followed his 
instructions, would be reunited with their friends in the 
other world, where there would be no mOre death or sick- 
ness or old age. He was then instructed in the dance 
which he was commanded to bring back to his people, 
and which was one of the strong articles of the new faith. 
Wovoka had simply mingled the pagan superstitions, in 
which he had been reared, with the Christian religion 
which he had been taught. 

Wovoka's teachings spread rapidly among the Indians 
of North America, and as they spread they were given new 
significance. Wovoka was an Indian Messiah, who had 
come to restore the dead to hfe, bring back the buffalo 
and other game to the prairie, drive away the whites, and 
cause the Indians to live a life of ideal happiness. In a few 


months the Sioux at Pine Ridge agency had learned of 
this wonderful Messiah, and so interested were they that 
a great council was held to discuss the matter, in which 
all the leading men, including Red Cloud, took part. 
They decided to send a delegation to Pyramid Lake to 
consult the Messiah and be instructed by him. Three 
men were sent for this purpose, the leader of whom was 
Short Bull. They went out in the winter of 1889, return- 
ing in the sprin,g of 1890. They brought with them a let- 
ter from Wovoka, which said : — 

"When you get home, you must make a dance to con- 
tinue five days. Dance four nights and the last night 
keep up the dance until the morning of the fifth day, when 
all must bathe in the river and then disperse to their 
homes. You must all do in the same way. I, Wovoka, 
love you with all my heart and am full of gladness for the 
gifts which you have brought me. When you get home, I 
shall give you a good cloud which will make you feel good. 
I give you a good spirit and give you all good things. I 
want you to come again in three months ; some from each 
tribe. There will be a good deal of snow this year and 
some rain. In the fall there will be such a rain as I have 
never given you before. When your friends die, you must 
not cry ; you must not hurt anybody or do harm to any one. 
You must not fight. Do right always. It will give you 
satisfaction in life. Do not tell the white people about 
this. Jesus is now upon earth. He appears like a cloud. 
The dead are all alive again. I do not know when they 
will be here; maybe this fall or in the spring. When 
the time comes, there will be no more sickness and every 


one will be young again. Do not refuse to work for the 
whites and do not make any trouble with them, until 
you leave them. When the earth shakes at the coming 
of the new world, do not be afraid ; it will not hurt you. 
I want you to dance every six weeks. Make a feast at 
the dance and have food that every one may eat, then 
bathe in the water. That is all. You will receive good 
words from me sometime. Do not tell lies. " 

Short Bull announced that he had been made the special 
representative of the Messiah among the Dakotas; that 
the Messiah himself would appear among them in two 
seasons; that is, about the autumn of 1891. He at once 
began to instruct the Indians in the dance, and was fertile 
in inventing new ceremonies. One of these was the use 
of the sweat house, in which the Indians were treated for 
purification. The excitement rapidly increased among 
the Sioux, and in a short time the majority of them gave 
up almost all their time to the dance and other religious 
ceremonies. It was several months, however, before 
the matter seriously attracted the attention of the white 
authorities. While the dancing w^as chiefly confined to 
Pine Ridge, there was some dancing at Rosebud and in 
Big Foot's and Hump's camps on the Cheyenne River, 
and in Sitting Bull's camp on Grand River, 

During the autumn of 1890 the dancing began to attract 
the attention of the agents and other white authorities, and 
mistaken stories of its meaning were interpreted to them. 
The agents thought it wise to break up the dancing, and to 
do this placed some of the leaders, including Short Bull, 
under arrest. These leaders were released in a short time, 

so. DAK. — 12 


■M^ap of tb.e 


^Vgainst tlie 



From Report of the 


for 1801. VoUI 


IS 24 32 Ulln 

£ Ist Position of Troops 

£ 2u4 

£ 3rd 

t?4th •• •• >. 

;n; 1st Position of hostile IndUni 

■? 2nd 

>^ 3rd •> ., ., 

i 4th • 



but the interference of the whites caused great discontent 
among the Indians. Short Bull, too, was ambitious and 
made much of his relations with the Messiah, and finally, 
shortly after his release from arrest, he boldly announced 
himself as the Messiah, and declared that while it had 
been his original purpose to make his advent and the 
resurrection of the dead two years hence, owing to the 
interference of the whites he proposed to bring it on 
immediately. The Indians, at Pine Ridge especially, 
followed him bhndly, and, upon his declaration that the 
resurrection was to come on immediately, they renewed 
their religious rites with increased fervor. 

To avoid interference from the ofiicers, the ghost dancers, 
as they were called, assembled in a large camp in the 
fastnesses of the Bad Lands. The agent at Pine Ridge 
became greatly alarmed, for many of the Indians about the 
agency had become very insolent and defied his author- 
ity. He asked that soldiers be sent to his assistance. 
The government therefore sent detachments of soldiers 
to Pine Ridge and Rosebud, and set up a cordon of mili- 
tary camps along the railroad between the reservation and 
the Black Hills, and from the vicinity of Buffalo Gap down 
the Cheyenne River to Fort Sully. 

The government officials were exceedingly suspicious 
of the conduct of Sitting Bull, who always had been of a 
mean disposition, and defiant of the government's author- 
ity. When information came that his people were dan- 
cing, it was the judgment of the ofiicers that he should 
be arrested and removed from the reservation. Major 
McLaughlin, for many years agent of Sitting Bull, be- 



lieved that he could control the Indians on his reservation 
without resorting to harsh measures, but toward the end 
of December, when he learned that Sitti*ng Bull was 
preparing to leave the reservation without authority, he 
too believed that the time had come when the old medi- 
cine man should be arrested. Order is preserved upon 
the Indian reservations through a system of Indian police, 
and Major McLaughlin had detailed a large number of 


his policemen to watch Sitting Bull and report upon his 
conduct. To these policemen was given the task of 
arresting Sitting Bull and bringing him into the agency. 
In this they were to be assisted by Captain Fetchet and a 
company of soldiers from Fort Yates. The arrest was 
to be made at daybreak on Monday morning, December 15. 
Sitting Bull's home was on Grand River, in northern 
South Dakota, where he lived in two substantial log 
cabins, a few rods apart. Forty-three policemen, under 
command of Lieutenant Bull Head, who was a very cool 
and reliable man, surrounded Sitting Bull's house. Ten 



men went into the larger house, where they found Sitting 
Bull asleep on the floor. He was awakened and told that 
he was a prisoner and must go to the agency. He said, 


Sitting Bull 

"All right, I will dress and go with you." He sent his 
wives out to the other house to fetch some clothing and 
to saddle his favorite horse. \Vhile dressing, he began 
abusing the police for disturbing him in his rest. 

While this was going on, about one hundred and fifty 


of Sitting Bull's followers gathered about the house, en- 
tirely surrounding the police and crowding them up against 
the wall. When the police brought Sitting Bull out of 
the house, where he could see the friends that had rallied 
to his assistance, he became greatly excited and refused 
to go on, and called on his friends to rescue him. Lieu- 
tenant Bull Head and Lieutenant Shave Head were stand- 
ing on either side of him, with Sergeant Red Tomahawk 
guarding behind, while the rest of the police were trying 
to clear the way in front. 

Catch the Bear, a friend of Sitting Bull's, fired and shot 
Bull Head in the side. Bull Head at once turned and 
sent a bullet into the body of Sitting Bull, who was also 
shot through the head at the same moment by Red 
Tomahawk. Shave Head was shot by another of the 
crowd and Catch the Bear was killed by A Lone Man, 
one of the police. Instantly there was a desperate hand- 
to-hand fight of less than forty-three men against more 
than a hundred. 

The fight lasted only a few minutes. Six policemen 
were killed, including the officers Bull Head and Shave 
Head. The hostiles lost eight killed, including Sitting Bull 
and his son Crow Foot, seventeen years of age. The 
trained police soon drove their assailants into the timber 
near by, and then returned and carried their dead and 
wounded into the house, which they held for more than 
two hours, until the arrival of Captain Fetchet, with 
his troops, at seven o'clock. On the approach of the 
soldiers, Sitting Bull's warriors fled up Grand River a 
short distance, and then turned south across the prairie 



toward Cherry Creek and Cheyenne River. Major 
McLaughlin says: "The details of the battle show that the 
Indian police behaved nobly, and exhibited the best of 
knowledge and bravery. It is hardly possible to praise 
their conduct too highly." 

Thus ended the life of Sitting Bull, the man who was 
most feared by the whites, and who probably had most 
influence in keeping the Indians in 
a state of hostility. One other man, 
however, was also giving the govern- 
ment much anxiety. This was Hump, 
chief of the Minneconjou Sioux, a 
grandson of Black Buffalo, whom 
Lewis and Clark met at Fort Pierre. 
He lived near the mouth of Cherry 
Creek. The fear of Hump, however, 
was quite groundless, for upon being 
requested to do so, he at once came 
into Fort Sully and enlisted as a scout 
in the government service. 

There was a band of Hump's 
people, under Big Foot, who were 
dancing on the Cheyenne, and the government deter- 
mined to put this band under arrest. When the troops 
approached to arrest Big Foot and his people, the In- 
dians were greatly alarmed, and though they agreed to 
accompany the soldiers to the fort, they escaped in the 
night time, and set off to join the dancers in the Bad 
Lands. Soldiers were at once sent in pursuit, and on 
the evening of December 28 Big Foot's band was over- 



taken on Wounded Knee Creek, about sixteen miles from 
Pine Ridge agency, where they were encamped, await- 
ing the return of scouts they had sent out to locate the 
camp of the ghost dancers. Big Foot himself was lying 
in his tepee, sick with pneumonia. Colonel Forsyth was in 
command of the soldiers, and he had with him four' hun- 
dred and seventy men against one hundred and six war- 
riors present in Big Foot's band. The night was passed 
comfortably, and the next morning the Indians were to be 
taken in to Pine Ridge agency. 

Before starting it was deemed wise to disarm them, 
though they were miserably armed with old rifles of very 
little value. When this action was undertaken, the Indians 
became very much excited. Yellow Bird, a medicine 
man, harangued the Indians and urged them to resist, 
telling them that the soldiers had become weak and 
powerless and that the bullets would not injure Indians 
dressed as they were in the ghost shirts. As Yellow Bird 
spoke in the Sioux language the officers did not at once 
realize the dangerous drift of his talk. 

One of the searchers began to examine the blankets of 
the Indians to see if they had arms concealed under them, 
whereupon Black Fox drew a rifle from under his blanket 
and fired at the soldiers, who instantly replied with a volley 
directly into the crowd of warriors, so close that their guns 
were almost touching. Nearly half of the warriors were 
killed with this first volley. The survivors sprang to their 
feet, throwing their blankets from their shoulders as they 
rose, and for a few minutes there was a terrible hand-to- 
hand struggle, in which every man fought to kill. 


Back where they commanded the Indian camp, a battery 
of Hotchkiss guns had been planted, and at the first volley 
these guns opened fire and sent a storm of shells and 
bullets among the women and children who had gathered 
in front of the tepees. The guns poured in two-pound 
explosive shells at the rate of nearly fifty a minute, mowing 
down everything alive. In a few minutes two hundred 
Indian men and women and children, with sixty soldiers, 
were lying dead and wounded on the ground. The tepees 
had been torn down by the shells and some of them were 
burning above the helpless wounded, and the surviving 
handful of Indians were flying in wild panic, pursued by 
hundreds of maddened soldiers. The pursuit was simply 
a massacre, in which fleeing women, with infants in 
their arms, were shot down after resistance had ceased 
and when almost every warrior was stretched dead or 
dying on the ground. The bodies of the women and 
children were scattered along a distance of two or three 
miles from the scene of the encounter. The butcher)' 
was the work of new and untrained recruits, who were 
infuriated by the shooting down of their comrades without 

Thus was fought the engagement known as the battle of 
Wounded Knee. The next day the Indians attacked some 
soldiers midway between Wounded Knee and the agency, 
but were repulsed. 

These engagements comprised all the actual fighting of 
the war. Within a day or two. General Miles came out 
and took charge of affairs, and, establishing communication 
with the Indian leaders, soon brought about an under- 


standing which ended the trouble. It is known now 
that no hostilities were intended by the Indians in the 
first instance, nor would there have been any had the 
Indians not been goaded on by the bad conduct of 
the officers. 



When the war with Spain began in the spring of 1898, 
South Dakota promptly responded with much more than 
her quota of men. Under the President's call for troops 
South Dakota's quota was nine hundred and twenty-five 
men, but she furnished in all twelve hundred and fifty, 
having a larger percentage of volunteers to population 
than any other state. A regiment of the National Guard 
had been in existence here since the territorial days, re- 
ceiving more or less state aid, and in anticipation of a 
declaration of war, after the destruction of the battleship 
Maine, in Havana Harbor, this regiment was recruited to 
its full allowance of men, one thousand and eight in all. 

The regiment was ordered to mobilize at Sioux Falls, 
on April 30, and there the men were subjected to the 
most rigid examination by the medical officers, who re- 
jected every person who was not in all respects fit. Lieu- 
tenant Alfred Frost, an officer of the regular army who had 
for a long time been upon detail as military instructor 
at the State Agricultural College at Brookings, was ap- 
pointed colonel; Lee Stover of Watertown, lieutenant- 
colonel; Charles A. Howard of Aberdeen, and William 
F. Allison of Brookings, majors; Dr. R. C. Warne of 


1 88 


Mitchell, chief surgeon; Jonas Lien of Sioux Falls, 
adjutant; and Rev. Charles M. Daley, chaplain. 

While the regiment was recruiting, fitting, and training, 
news of the great naval victory in Manila Bay was 
received, and it was soon determined by the federal 
authorities to send the South Dakotans to the Philip- 
pines ; but Manila was 
captured and the war 
with Spain was over 
before the arrival of 
the South Dakotans' 

Colonel Frost proved 
himself an able and 
firm disciplinarian ; and 
he landed his men at 
Manila, on the 25th of 
August, in good health, 
thoroughly trained sol- 
diers. Upon general 
inspection of all the 
troops in the island. Major- General Otis selected the 
South Dakotans as best fitted to take the field, and at the 
first crisis, on September 10, they were placed under march- 
ing orders and so held until the crisis' had passed. As a 
mark of special distinction the regiment was selected to 
furnish guards for Generals Otis, McArthur, and Hale. 

The first shot fired by an American soldier in the hos- 
tilities which ensued was fired by Private Smith of Com- 
pany E on the night of January 10, 1899, three days after 

Lieutenant Colonel Lee Stover 


Aguinaldo issued his manifesto declaring himself com- 
mandant of the Philippines and asserting that General 
Otis was a usurper. On that night Smith was on sen- 
tinel duty near Block House No. 4 when he was approached 
by two Filipino soldiers. Just as they were passing one 
of them made a vi- 
cious slash at him 
with a bolo. Smith 
dodged so as to es- 
cape the full weight 
of the blow, but re- 
ceived a bad wound 
in the face. In- 
stantly he brought 
his rifle into position 
and shot the nearest 
Filipino dead, and 
with another shot 
seriously wounded 
the other. 

For the next three 
weeks the situation 
was strained and 

nerve-trying. The South Dakotans were on outpost 
duty and under orders to sleep in their clothes. Finally 
on February 4 came the clash of open war. The battle 
began almost in front of the South Dakota outpost, and 
our men were instantly under fire and continued in the 
hottest of the fight for eighteen hours, during which Pri- 
vates McCrackcn of Company H and Lowes and Green 

Colonel A. S. Frost 


of Company I were killed and five others wounded. 
During the battle the South Dakotans showed perfect 
discipline and courage, and their work was most effective. 
From that time forward, until the end of the campaign, 
the South Dakotans were constantly upon the firing line, 
sleeping in their clothes and patiently enduring all the 
discomforts of forced marches through the swamps and 
jungles of a tropical climate, where the heat was oppres- 
., sive, the rain almost incessant, and the food frequently 
4 \ insufficient and of inferior equality ; but in all things 

they met the full expectations of their superiors and they 
received the warm commendation of the government. 
The regiment took active part in the affairs at La Loma 
church on February 6, at Malolos on March 25, and at 
Palo and Meyaeamyan on March 26. 

At Meyaeemyan, John Hoi man, then a corporal of Com- 
pany C, was promoted to a lieutenancy for exceptional 
bravery in action. As the regiment approached the bridge 
spanning the Mey^is««yan it was discovered that the enemy 
had intrenched on the opposite shore, having first set the 
nearest end of the bridge afire. From their intrenchments 
the enemy commanded the bridge and were pouring a 
heavy musket fire across the river in the direction of the 
regiment. The fire at the further end had not made great 
progress, but the bridge was endangered unless the fire 
was at once extinguished. With the hostile bullets sing- 
ing about his ears, Holman dashed across the bridge and 
extinguished the blaze, and then, undaunted, stood upon 
the approach and opened fire upon the intrenched enemy 
but a few yards away. 



The next day, March 27, the South Dakotans bore the 
brunt of the battle at Marilao, one of the hardest-fought 
and bloodiest engagements of the war. All of the regiment 
was engaged and fought with valor. Nine men were 
killed, including Adjutant Lien and Lieutenants Adams 
and Morrison. Twenty-five others were wounded, one 
of them — Sergeant Preacher — mortally. 

That day at Marilao another South Dakotan won fame 
for a most valorous deed : Captain Clayton Van Houten. 
The bridge across the river had been almost destroyed, 
so that only the steel stringers remained. The enemy 
was as usual intrenched across the stream. The South 
Dakotans plunged into the river and with their guns held 
high above the water struggled across it. A squad of 
Nebraska soldiers came up with a mountain howitzer, 
which Colonel Frost desired to plant upon the further 
bank of the stream; so he sent Sergeant Major Beck 
to order the Nebraskans to bring it across. They hesi- 
tated to obey, as the only means of reaching the further 
shore was by the stringers of the broken bridge, and it 
seemed an impossible feat to carry the gun over so narrow 
a footing. Captain Van Houten appeared upon the ground 
at that moment, and, taking in the situation at a glance, 
he caught the heavy gun from its carriage, swung it to 
his shoulder, and directing the Nebraskans to follow with 
the carriage, he carried the howitzer across the river, 
unaided, on the single span of steel. From the strain of 
that exertion he never recovered, but died at his home in 
Worthing three years later. 

The regiment continued in the campaign, being among 


the first to enter Malolos and thence marching on to San 
Fernando, constantly harassed by the enemy and suffering 
much from sickness and the excessive heat. When 
they returned to Manila on June lo, General McArthur 
said, "The record of the South Dakota regiment in the 
Philippines has no equal in military history, so far as I 

On August 12, 1899, the regiment embarked at Manila 
for home. It arrived in San Francisco in September, 
whither a large number of our prominent citizens had 
gone to welcome the boys back to the states. The regi- 
ment was mustered out at San Francisco. The citizens 
of South Dakota had provided transportation for the return 
of the men to their homes. They came by the northern 
route, and President McKinley met them at Aberdeen on 
the morning of October 14. That was a day of universal 
rejoicing in South Dakota. All along the way from Aber- 
deen to Yankton celebrations were prepared, and the 
President so timed his journey as to be present at several 
of them. The fete terminated at Yankton that evening, 
where an immense multitude had assembled from all 
over the state, and President McKinley there made one 
of his memorable addresses, in which he highly extolled 
the record which the regiment had made in the Philip- 

The total loss of the regiment during the war was: 
twenty-three killed in action; one drowned; thirty-two 
deaths from disease; sixty wounded. 

In addition to this First Regiment South Dakota fur- 
nished five troops of cavalry, officially known as the Third 


Regiment, United States Volunteer Cavalry, but promptly 
designated " Grigsby's Cowboys." They were under com- 
mand of Colonel Melvin Grigsby of Sioux Falls. Robert 
W. Stewart of Pierre was major; Otto I.. Sues of Sioux 
Falls, adjutant; 
Ralph Parliman of 
Sioux Falls, quar- 
termaster ; Rev. 
Galen S.Clevenger 
of Pierre, chap- 
lain. The regi- 
ment was ordered 
to Chickamauga, 
en route to Cuba, 
but the war closed 
before its services 
were required. 

of Watertown was 
appointed a briga- 
dier general of 
volunteers by the 

President, but did not get into active service by reason 
of the early close of the war. 

In addition to these, many patriotic citizens of South 
Dakota, faihng to find a place in the regular organiza- 
tions of the state, enlisted and rendered honorable service 
in other state organizations, both in Cuba and the Phihp- 

Colonel Melvin Grigsby 

so. DAK. — 13 



The first settlement, except for the fur trade, made 
within what is now South Dakota, at Sioux Falls in 1857, 
was established with the express purpose of making it 
the capital of Dakota territory. For four years, in fact, 
Sioux Falls was nominally the capital, though of course 
it was only by common consent and without any law in 
support of it. 

When the territory was finally organized, in 1861, 
Governor Jayne established the temporary capital at 
Yankton and made his office there, and his choice was 
ratified by the first legislature, as we have learned in the 
story of the attempt to unseat Speaker Pinney. This 
location was very unsatisfactory to many of the people, 
particularly to those residing west of Yankton on the 
Missouri River; and in 1867 General Todd, who repre- 
sented Dakota in Congress for two terms, led in a hard 
fight in the legislature for the removal of the capital to 
Bon Homme. He succeeded in getting this bill through 
the house of representatives, but it was defeated in the 
council. In the session of 1880 an unavailing fight was 
made to remove the capital to Huron. 

By this time a large population had come into central 



and northern Dakota, and capital removal was much dis- 
cussed. The legislature of 1882 provided that the gov- 
ernor should appoint a capital commission, to consist 
of nine persons, who were to go out and locate the terri- 
torial capital at a point in the territory where they could 
do so upon the best terms. They were to secure not less 
than one hundred and sixty acres of land and a suffi- 
cient amount of money to build a creditable capitol. 
Many towns in both northern and southern Dakota com- 
peted in this contest, but northern Dakota won the prize 
and the capital was located at Bismarck. Yankton, of 
course, gave up the capital reluctantly and made a hard 
fight for its retention. Southern Dakota was much more 
populous than northern Dakota, and had the larger 
delegation in the legislature; and the leaders were deter- 
mined to remove the territorial capital back into southern 
Dakota at the next session. Pierre, Huron, and Mitchell 
were leading candidates for the honor, and in each session 
of the legislature of the territory, except the last one, the 
matter was vigorously fought, but without success, be- 
cause the southern Dakota men could not all agree upon 
one town. 

The question of the location of a temporary capital 
for the state of South Dakota was submitted to the people 
with the constitution of 1885 ; Huron and Pierre, Alex- 
andria and Chamberlain, were competing candidates. 
Huron was successful, and the session of the provisional 
legislature, which elected Colonel Moody and Judge 
Edgerton United States senators, was convened there in 
December of 1885. 


The enabling act required that among other things the 
question of the location of the temporary seat of govern- 
ment should be again submitted to the people. This 
brought on a hard-fought contest in the summer of 1889, 
in which Pierre, Huron, Watertown, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, 
and Chamberlain were contestants. This time Pierre was 
successful, winning the temporary capital by a large 

The permanent seat of government was, under the con- 
stitution, to be determined at the election of 1890. At 
this election only Pierre and Huron were candidates. 
A campaign of intense interest was fought, in which 
Pierre succeeded by a very large majority. 

Nevertheless, there continued a feeling that the capital 
should be located elsewhere, and ambitious towns clam- 
ored for a resubmission of the question. In legislature 
after legislature the question came up on a proposition 
to amend the constitution so as to make Huron the capi- 
tal, but the promoters were unable to get the proposition 
submitted. Finally, in the legislature of 1901, a com- 
bination of all of the ambitious candidates and their 
friends was made, and it was agreed that a caucus should 
determine which town should be the candidate. Mitchell 
won in this caucus, and the attempt to secure the sub- 
mission of the constitutional amendment brought about 
a remarkable legislative filibuster, but again the propo- 
sition failed. At the session of 1903 the caucus plan was 
again tried, Mitchell again securing the caucus nomination ; 
and the resolutions submitting the constitutional amend- 
ment prevailed by a very large majority in both houses. 



During the next two years a ver}^ picturesque campaign 
was fought. In the campaigns of 1889 and 1890 large 
sums of money had been expended, more or less corruptly, 
in influencing votes, and the effect upon the morals of 
the state was very bad. Both Pierre and Mitchell, in 
the campaign of 1904, undertook to avoid the corrupt 

Carnegie Library, Mitchell 

use of money. The Northwestern Railroad Company 
was interested in the retention of the capital at Pierre; 
the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway Company 
was equally interested in the removal of the capital to 
Mitchell. The campaign, therefore, became a fight be- 
tween the two railway systems. 

Early in the season each railway began to carr>' to the 
city in which it was interested 'persons selected from the 


several communities, who were presumed to have in- 
fluence with the voters, giving them free rides for the pur- 
pose of getting them interested in that city as the capital. 
These influential persons let it be known in their home 
communities that they had -been thus favored, and their 
neighbors promptly applied for like favors, which could 
scarcely be refused. So it came about that long before 
the close of the campaign the railroad companies felt 
compelled to carry to these two cities every person who 
appHed for the privilege. At least one hundred thousand 
persons were carried into each town. In the last weeks 
of the campaign many special trains daily, loaded with 
good-natured men, women, and children, were carried into 
Mitchell and Pierre. It was a great, continuous picnic, 
in which all of the people participated, and probably 
has not had an equal in American history. 

The election resulted in the retention of the capital at 
Pierre, by about eighteen thousand majority. The legisla- 
ture of 1905 made provision for an appropriate capitol 
building at Pierre, and it is probable that the people of 
South Dakota are through with campaigns for the re- 
moval of the capital. 



During the old fur-trading days the burgeois, or man- 
aging officer of the American Fur Company, who resided 
at Fort Pierre, was the self-constituted chief executive ofh- 
cer of the Dakota country. By common consent he had the 
powers not only of a governor, but of a magistrate as well, 
and he tried men for petty offenses, committed them to the 
guardhouse for punishment, or imposed other punish- 
ments upon them, and in the case of high crimes sent 
them in chains to St. Louis for trial. WiUiam Laidlaw 
was the man who, for the most part, exercised this func- 
tion for a long period of years. 

When the Louisiana purchase was made, in 1803, 
jurisdiction over the northwest country was, for a time, 
conferred upon Indiana, and General William Henry 
Harrison was the governor. After Louisiana territory was 
organized, Captain Meriwether Lewis was for a time its 
governor, and after Louisiana territory became Missouri 
territory Captain William Clark held the same office. 
But of course these men had little governing to do in 
the Dakota country. This is true also of the governors, 
respectively, of Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minne- 
sota, whose territorial limits included the east half of 
South Dakota at one time or another. 

When the settlers organized at Sioux Falls in 1858, 



immediately after the admission of Minnesota, Henry 
Masters, a lawyer, native of Maine, was made governor. 
He held the office until his death one year later, on the 
fifth day of September, 1859. No record is left of his 
executive acts. Samuel J. Albright was elected as Mas- 
ters's successor. Albright was a newspaper man and pro- 
moter; he was speaker of the House of Representatives 
and preferred that position to the governorship, and so 
declined to qualify as governor, and the legislature elected 
Judge W. W. Brookings to fill the vacancy. Both Masters 
and Brookings were governors only by common consent, 
as Congress had not yet organized the territory ; but Judge 
Brookings continued as the nominal governor of Dakota 
until the appointment of Governor William Jayne, by 
President Lincoln, in April, 1861. 

Governor Brookings was a lawyer and a man of large 
ability. He came to Dakota with the Dubuque colony 
in the summer of 1857, and was soon made the general 
manager of the companies' interests. He was a man of 
great energy, and being misinformed that the Yankton 
Indians had- relinquished their lands to the government, 
he started in the winter of 1858, from Sioux Falls, to claim 
the town site at Yankton. When he started, the weather 
was warm, the snow had melted, the streams were 
swollen, and he soon became thoroughly wet. Before 
night, however, a terribly cold storm set in. He found 
himself freezing, and the nearest point for help was back 
at the settlement at Sioux Falls. He turned back with 
all haste, but before he reached the Falls he was very 
badly frozen, and it soon became evident that the only 



Jayne Edmunds 




hope for his life lay in amputating his limbs. Among the 
settlers was a young physician, Dr. James L. Phillips, 
recently graduated, but he possessed no surgical instru- 
ments. He amputated the legs of Mr. Brookings with 
a common handsaw and butcher knife, and successfully 
nursed him back to health ; and Brookings lived to become 
one of the most useful citizens of the territory. The first 
railroad in Dakota territory (1872), from the settlement 
at Yankton to Sioux City, was promoted and built by 
Judge Brookings. He was for four years a justice of the 
Dakota Supreme Court (1869-1873). His death occurred 
at Boston, in June, 1905. 

Dr. William Jayne, the first legally appointed territorial 
governor (1861), was at that time a young physician at 
Springfield. He had attracted the attention of President 
Lincoln and was employed in his family. Jayne was am- 
bitious to get into politics, and Lincoln sent him out as 
governor of Dakota. His official conduct appears to have 
been wise and honest, but at the second election he de- 
termined to become a candidate for delegate to Congress, 
and made the campaign upon the Republican ticket 
against General J. B. S. Todd, the non-partisan candi- 
date. Jayne secured the certificate of election, but the 
conduct of his campaign was a territorial scandal, which 
must always reflect upon his good name. Todd contested 
Jayne's election and secured the seat. Jayne never 
came back to Dakota, but returned to Springfield. 

Dr. Jayne was succeeded by Newton Edmunds (1863), 
a citizen of Yankton. Governor Edmunds was one of 
the wisest and most practical executives Dakota has had. 


His administration occurred during the trying time of 
the War of the Outbreak, and he believed that negotia- 
tion and not gunpowder was demanded to settle the 
disturbance. He was strongly opposed by the military 
department, and not until he carried his views directly 
to President Lincoln, in the spring of 1865, was he able 
to get a respectful hearing. President Lincoln at once 
agreed to the views advanced by Governor Edmunds, 
and assisted in putting them forward. The result was 
the end of the war within a few months. When Governor 
Edmunds came into office, it was the practice to grant 
divorces by act of the legislature. He vetoed all divorce 
bills and put a stop to the scandalous practice. He had 
the utmost faith in Dakota, even in its darkest days, and 
did much to assist and encourage the settlers in building 
up homes, and establishing themselves in farming and 
stock gromng. 

Andrew J. Faulk, a Pennsylvanian, followed Governor 
Edmunds (1866), and held the office during the adminis- 
tration of President Andrew Johnson. He was a gentle- 
man of culture and great affability. There was little to 
demand a particular executive policy during his adminis- 
tration, but his conduct was marked by wisdom and 

John A. Burbank, of Indiana, followed Governor 
Faulk (1869). He did not secure the general confidence 
and cooperation of the people. His administration cov- 
ered a troublous period during which General McCook, 
secretary of the territory, was killed, and very strong 
factional feeling prevailed throughout the territory. 



John L. Pennington, of Alabama, was next appointed 
governor (1874). He was bluff, strong, and practical, 
and made a good executive. He died in igoo at his 
Alabama home. 

William A. Howard, of Michigan, was the next gov- 
ernor (1878). Howard was a very efficient, far-sighted, 
and capable man. He was advanced in years and hoped 
to make his administration of Dakota affairs the crowning 
act in a long and useful life. He impressed himself for 
good on most of the affairs and enterprises of the territory, 
but at the beginning of 1880 he died and George A. 
Hand, secretary, became acting governor for a period 
of six months, until the appointment of Nehemiah G. 
Ordway of New Hampshire, who served for four years, 
with small satisfaction to the people. 

President Arthur selected Gilbert A. Pierce, of Illinois, 
to succeed Ordway (1884). Pierce was a veteran of the 
Civil War and a newspaper man, having been connected 
editorially with the Inter-Ocean from its foundation in 
1872. He was a popular and conscientious governor, 
who did much in the interest of safe and conservative 
management during the period of the great Dakota 
boom. He was afterward United States senator from 
North Dakota, and was appointed by President Harrison 
United States Minister to Spain. He died in Chicago in 

Governor Pierce resigned as governor of Dakota ter- 
ritory in January, 1887, and was followed by Governor 
Louis K. Church, under appointment from President 
Cleveland. Church was the only Democrat who was 




Pennington Howard 



governor of Dakota territory. He was appointed from 
New York, where he had been a member of the legisla- 
ture while President Cleveland was governor of that 
state, and where, in cooperation with Theodore Roose- 
velt, he had rendered much assistance in bringing about 
the legislative reforms of Cleveland's administration in 
New York. His position in Dakota was a trying one. 
The territory and the legislature were overwhelmingly 
Republican, and the Democratic party, too, was divided 
into two strong factions. Under these circumstances 
Governor Church's administration fell in troublous times. 
He was not tactful in getting along with his opponents, 
but his honesty and good intentions were never questioned. 
He died in Alaska in 1899. 

Arthur C. Mellette, of Watertown, South Dakota, was 
the last governor of Dakota territory, having been ap- 
pointed to that position by President Harrison at the very 
beginning of his administration (1889). Mellette was a 
man of large ability and strict integrity. His administra- 
tion as governor of Dakota territory was very brief, as 
the territory was divided and both states admitted within 
a few months, and little devolved upon him but the exer- 
cise of great care in the separation of the affairs of North 
and South Dakota. He was elected the first governor 
of South Dakota, and his administration covered the first 
three years of the life of the young state. He was a stickler 
for economy in public affairs, believed in small salaries 
for public officials, and demanded the most rigid honesty 
in all of his appointees. The period of his administration 
was marked by the great drought of 1889- 1890, which 








^ l^^v^ 






Church MELLErrE 




brought so much hardship to the new settlers, and by the 
Messiah Indian War. In the establishment of the prece- 
dents which were to guide his successors in office, as 
well as in the general administration, he was wise and 
prudent. He died at Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1896, and his 
ashes repose in the cemetery at Watertown. 

Charles H. Sheldon was the second state governor 
(1893). Mr. Sheldon was a farmer, residing at Pierpont 
in Day County. He was a public speaker of great ability 
and of very pleasing address. He was reelected in 1894 
and died soon after the close of his second term. 

Andrew E. Lee followed Governor Sheldon (1897). 
He was the only Populist to occupy the position. Gov- 
ernor Lee was a trained business man of strict integrity, 
and he tried to carry his business methods into the ad- 
ministration. He was governor during the Spanish War 
and rendered the state excellent service in providing for 
the ecjuipment of the state's quota before it was mustered 
into the federal service. 

Charles N. Herreid was elected governor in 1900. His 
administration fell in the pleasant years of great national 
prosperity in which South Dakota led. The state has 
known no better period, and the tact and wisdom of Gov- 
ernor Herreid contributed to that end. 

Samuel H. El rod succeeded Governor Herreid in 1905. 
He filled the office wisely -aod- nuTptflbl]', and .was fol- 
lowed in 1907 by Coe I. Crawford, during whose term 
many progressive laws were passed for the regulation of 
corporations and the prevention of corrupt practices in 
politics. — ^ 



Herreid Elrod 


so. DAK. — 14 209 




At the end of his term he 
short in his accounts, and 
upon the advice of a firm 
of Chicago attorneys, he 
carried away the remain- 
der of the state money, 
aggregating ^367,000, in 
the belief that the state 
would compromise with 
him. Finding after sev- 
eral months that a com- 
promise could not be 
effected, he surrendered 
and served a term in the 

Robert S. Vessey suc- 
ceeded Governor Craw- 
ford in 1909, and Craw- 
ford was elected United 
States senator. 

Each of the governors 
of South Dakota has 
been supported by an 
efficient corps of state 
officers, all of whom 
have made creditable 
official records, except 
William W. Taylor, state 
treasurer in 1891-1895. 
found himself about $150,000 




The prov-isional legislature which met in Huron, tem- 
porary capital, under the constitution of 1885, elected 
Gideon C. Moody and Alonso J. Edgerton United States 
senators. They went to Washington and made applica- 
tion for admission to seats in the Senate. They were 
courteously given the privileges of the floor, but were not 
permitted to qualify. Upon the admission of the state, in 
^ ''- J.S9D, Edgerton was made judge of the United States 
' district court for the South Dakota district, and Moody 
and Richard F. Pettigrew were elected to the United 
States Senate. 

In the choice of terms Judge Moody drew the short 
term, which expired the succeeding year. He therefore 
had little time to develop a senatorial policy. During 
his term the revision of the tariff, on the lines of the historic 
McKinley Bill, was the principal measure under consid- 
eration, and he supported the administration policy. 
Coming from a mining region, he favored the largest 
use of silver, and was active in support of the well- 
known Sherman Silver Act. Owing to the wave of popu- 
lism which struck South Dakota in 1890, he was not 
reelected. /-fy cLi^^ u^ , /Cf 01^ 



Senator Pettigrew served for twelve years, and, in addi- 
tion to securing a large amount of federal legislation and 
institutions for South Dakota, was distinguished in the 
Senate for his advocacy of the free coinage of silver and 
for his opposition to the annexation of the Hawaiian 


The legislature of 
1 891 elected Rev. James 
H. Kyle, of Aberdeen, 
senator to succeed 
Judge Moody ; Mr. 
Kyle was a man of 
fine educational attain- 
ments, but untrained 
in politics. He sup- 
ported the general poli- 
cies of the Democratic 
party in Congress, but 
was most distinguished 
for his work upon the 
committee upon edu- 
cation, and as chair- 
man of the Joint Industrial Commission. He was re- 
elected in 1897 by a fusion of Populist and Republican 
votes and thereafter supported the general Republican 
policies. He was intensely interested in industrial- 
economic questions and was devoting much attention to 
the work of the Industrial Commission when his death 
occurred, July i, 1901. 
The legislature of 1901 elected Robert J. Gamble, of 

Senator Gamble 



Yankton, to succeed Senator Pettigrew. Mr. Gamble 
is a lawyer of distinguished ability and had previously 
served two terms in Congress. In the Senate, where he 
has ably supported the national policies of his party, he 
has devoted his attention chiefly to the promotion of 
legislation of immediate interest to his constituents. ' 

Upon the death or 
Senator Kyle, Governor 
Herreid appointed Al- 
fred B. Kittredge, of 
Sioux Falls, to fill the 
unexpired term, and 
the next legislature 
elected Mr. Kittredge 
for a succeeding long 
term. Mr. Kittredge 
became a member of 
the committee on in- 
teroceanic canals, and 
at once became deeply 
interested in the matter 
of the construction of 

a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He 
became convinced that the Isthmus route was more feas- 
ible than the Nicaragua, then the more popular one. 
The adoption of the former involved many abstruse legal 
propositions relating to the rights of the French company 
owning the Isthmus route, as well as the treaty rights 
of the parties with the Colombian government. Into the 
study of these questions he threw himself with great vigor, 

Senator Kittredge 


and soon became the leading authority on all questions 
relating to the Isthmian canal in the Senate. While-tbi& 
has been his most distinguished service, he has neglected 
nothing that pertained to the interests of the South Dakota 
people. ^ -^r-c-.^ 'TK^ V /f// 

' r^C>-^.»'^ 





1683. Le Sueur probably visited Sioux Falls to buy turs which he 

shipped by flatboat to the mouth of Mississippi. 
1700. Le Sueur's traders from Fort L'Huillier (Mankato, Minne- 
sota) traded on Big Sioux River at Flandreau and Sioux 

1743. Vdrendrye visited western part of South Dakota and claimed 

soil for French king. Planted lead plate inscribed with 

arms of France, probably near Pierre. 
1745. De Lusigan visited Big Stone Lake to call in unlicensed 

1750.' Teton Sioux at about this date, having driven Omahas from 

Big Sioux and James river valleys, reached Missouri River 

and engaged Rees in forty years' war. 
1775. Oglala Tetons discover Black Hills and soon afterward drive 

Kiowas from that region. 
1780. Yankton and Yanktonais Sioux, about this date, having been 

driven from western Iowa by Ottos, came up and settled in 

James River valley. 
1785. Pierre Dorion, afterward guide to Lewis and Clark, married 

a Yankton woman and settled in trade at mouth of James 

1790. Pierre Garreau settled with Rees at mouth of Grand River. 
1792. Sioux finally conquer Rees and drive them from their strong 

position in neighborhood of Pierre. The Rees retreat up 

river and settle with relatives at mouth of Grand River. 

1796. Loisel, or L'Oiselle, builds post on Cedar Island, between 

Pierre and Big Bend. First recorded post in South 

1797. Trudeau builds "Pawnee House" on east side of the Mis- 
/ 2 >; souri, opposite Fort Randall, in Charles Mix County. 
1804. Lewis and Clark explore Missouri valley through South 

Dakota, eii ropte to Pacific. 



1805. Pierre Dorion conducts party of Sioux chiefs to St. Louis. 

1806. Lewis and Clark return from Pacific, passing tlirough South 


1807. Manuel Lisa undertakes trade with Indians at head of Mis- 

souri. Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor attempts to conduct Big 
White, a Mandan' chief who visited Washington with Lewis 
and Clark, to his home and is attacked and driven back by 
Rees, assisted by Minneconjou Teton Sioux under Black 
Buffalo. Four whites killed, nine wounded. 

1808. St. Louis Missouri Fur Company organized for trade on 

Upper Missouri. Established post in Loisel house on 
Cedar Island. 

1809. Manuel Lisa, for St. Louis Missouri Fur Company, safely con- 

ducts Big White to his home in North Dakota. Finds 
Rees friendly. 

1 810. Loisel post burned with large stock of furs. 

181 1. Astorian party go up Missouri to Grand River, where they 

buy horses of Rees and go thence up Grand River toward 
Pacific. First recorded exploration of northern Black Hills 
Manuel Lisa finds Sioux excited over " Prophet craze " and 
believes it due to hostile English influence. Reports con- 
dition to General Clark, Indian agent. 

1812. Red Thunder, Flathead Yanktonais chief from Elm River, 

Brown County, with son, Waneta, and twenty-two Sisse- 
tons, enlist to serve English in war against Americans. 

1813. Manuel Lisa made subagent for Missouri River Sioux and 

keeps them friendly to American interests. 

181 5. Teton Sioux sign treaty of friendship at Portage des 

Sioux. Black Buffalo dies there July 14, Given military 

1 81 6. Pawnee House burns. 

1817. Fur trade revives. Joseph La Framboise builds Fort Teton 

at site of Fort Pierre. First continuous settlement. 
1822. La Framboise builds trading post at Great Bend of Big Sioux 

Fort Tecumseh built at site of Fort Pierre, by Columbia Fur 

Fort Recovery built upon American Island at Chamberlain, 

by Missouri Fur Company. (It is possible this post was 


built ten years earlier to compensate loss ot Loisel post, 
and was headquarters of Manuel Lisa during War of 

1823. General Ashley, lieutenant governor of Missouri, en route to 
Yellowstone, with cargo of goods and one hundred men, 
attacked by Rees at Grand River and thirteen men killed 
and ten severely wounded. 
Colonel Henry Leavenworth, with 220 men, marches from 
Fort Atkinson, near Omaha, to punish Rees for attack on 
Atkinson. At Yankton, July 3, Sergeant Samuel Stack- 
pole and six men drowned by overturning of boat. 
Leavenworth is joined by Joshua Pilcher, manager of 
Missouri Fur Company, with forty volunteers at Fort 
Recovery. General Ashley and eighty men join party at 
Cheyenne River. Seven hundred and fifty Sioux Indians 
volunteer for the campaign. August 9 Ree towns reached 
and besieged. Rees punished and beg for terms. First 
general military movement in Dakota. 

1825. General Henry Atkinson and Dr. Benjamin O'Fallon sent up 
Missouri with an escort of 476 men to make treaties for 
trade and intercourse with Indian tribes. Very successful. 
Destroy English influence with Indians. First Fourth of 
July celebration in Dakota. 
Wamdesapa, a Wakpekuta chief, kills his brother Tasagi 
and is driven from his tribe. Settles on Vermilion River 
in South Dakota. 

1828. American Fur Company absorbs Columbia Fur Company 
and becomes dominant in Dakota trade. 

1831. Pierre Chouteau, Jr., navigates first steamboat, the Yellow- 

stone, on upper Missouri, reaching Fort Tecumseh. Revo- 
lutionizes fiir trade methods. 

1832. Fort Pierre built to succeed Fort Tecumseh. 

George Catlin, famous painter of Indian pictvires, visits Fort 
Pierre and paints many likenesses. 

Frederick Le Beau, a trader, kills Fran9ois Querrel, an em- 
ployee, at mouth of Cherry Creek, on Cheyenne River. 
Le Beau arrested by order of William Laidlaw, burgeois 
of Fort Pierre, and sent to St. Louis in chains. 
1837. Great smallpox epidemic on Missouri River. All tribes suffer 
severely. Mandans practically destroyed. 


1838. Dr. Joseph N. Nicollet, accompanied by John C, Fremont, 

visits the coteau region of eastern South Dakota, mapping 
and naming the lakes. 

1839. Nicollet and Fremont again visit South Dakota, coming up 

the river to Fort Pierre, thence passing over to James 
River, and finally to the Minnesota. 
Father Pierre John De Smet visits the renegade band of 
Wakpekuta Sioux under Wamdesapa, to try to effect a 
peace between them and the Potawatomies of central 

1840. Dr. Stephen R. Riggs, celebrated missionary from Minnesota 

River, visits Fort Pierre and preaches first sermon in 

1842. Audubon, the naturalist, visited the section upon a profes- 
sional trip and observed and noted most of the birds and 
Father Alexander Ravoux visits Fort Pierre and baptizes 
many Indians and half bloods. 

1845. Father Ravoux visits Fort Vermilion. 

1847. Mrs. Joseph La Barge comes to Fort Pierre, with her husband, 
Captain La Barge of the steamboat Martha. First white 
woman to visit South Dakota. The Martha attacked by 
Yankton Indians at Crow Creek. 

1849. Inkpaduta, son of the renegade Wamdesapa, massacres his 
cousin Wamundiyakapi and seventeen other Wakpekutas. 

1 85 1. Father De Smet visits the Teton Sioux. 

Santee Sioux relinquish title to all land east of Big Sioux 
River by treaty of Traverse des Sioux. 

1855. Government buys Fort Pierre. General W. S. Harney, after 
battle of Ash Hollow, in Nebraska, brings army of twelve 
hundred men to Pierre. Lieutenant G. K. Warren, after- 
ward famous in Civil War, examines and makes topo- 
graphical survey of much of South Dakota. 

1857. Settlement begun at Sioux Falls. Flandreau, and Medary. 
" The Noble Road " built across the state from Lake Benton 

to Crow Creek. 
Fort Randall completed and occupied. 

Jnkpaduta, the renegade, massacres forty-two settlers at 
Spirit Lake, Iowa, and retreats into South Dakota with 
three whit^ >vpmen captives. 


1858. Yankton Indians make treaty relinquishing title to lands 

between Big Sioux and Missouri. 

Mrs. Goodwin, first white woman settler, arrives at Sioux 

Settlement at Medary destroyed by Smutty Bear, Yankton 

Settlers at Sioux Falls build and fortify Fort Sod. 

Provisional government organized. Legislature elected and 
convened. Alpheus G. Fuller sent as delegate to Con- 
gress. Henry Masters, governor. 

1859. Yankton treaty ratified. July 10 Indians surrender lands. 

Yankton, Vermilion, and Bon Homme founded. 

Dakota Democrat newspaper established by Samuel J. Al- 
bright. Governor Masters dies. New legislature elected 
at Sioux Falls. Jefferson P. Kidder elected delegate to 
Congress. Wilmot W. Brookings provisional governor. 
i860. First church society organized at Vermilion by Presby- 

First school opened at Vermilion. 

First schoolhouse built at Bon Homme. 

1861. Dakota Territory erected by Congress March 2. Dr. William 

Jayne appointed governor. Establishes temporary capital 
at Yankton. Calls election for legislature and delegate 
to Congress John B. S. Todd elected delegate. 

1862. First territorial legislature, '"the Pony Congress,"' meets 

March 17. 

Company A, Dakota cavalry, organized at Yankton. 

Great Indian Outbreak in Minnesota, August 18. Tlie 
Amidons massacred at Sioux Falls. Settlers flee in wild 
panic. Stockade at Yankton. All men called to arms. 

1863. Governor Jayne goes to Congress. Newton Edmunds ap- 

pointed governor. 
Company B, Dakota cavalry, organized at Elkpoint. 

1865. War of Outbreak ended by treaty at Fort Pierre. Montana 

road ordered built. 

1866. Red Cloud war begins. 

Andrew J. Faulk succeeds Newton Edmunds. 
Great affliction of grasshoppers. Crops eaten up. 
1868. Red Cloud war ends. Great Sioux reservation created by 


1869. Faulk succeeded by John A. Burbank. "Wild and woolly 
period." Great factional Moody-Brookings fight begins. 

1872. First railroad in South Dakota; Dakota Southern built from 

Sioux City to Yankton. 

1873. Northwestern railway built to Lake Kampeska. 

Gen. Edwin S. McCook, secretary of Dakota Territory, shot 
and killed by Peter P. Wintermute, result of factional 
political fight. 

1874. Burbank succeeded by John L. Pennington. 
Gold discovered in Black Hills. 

Second invasion of grasshojipers. 

1875. Black Hills treaty commission fails. Rush of miners to 


1876. Gold discovered in Deadvvood Gulch. Stampede from Custer. 

Miners establish law and order. 

Great Sioux war. Battles of Rosebud and Little Big Horn. 
Custer's army destroyed. 

Black Hills relinquished by Indians. All agency Sioux dis- 
mounted and disarmed. 

1877. Great Dakota boom begins. 

1878. William A. Howard succeeds Pennington. 

1879. Great boom waxes strong. Railroad buildmg begins. 

1880. Northwestern railway builds to Pierre ; the Milwaukee reaches 

Great October blizzard. 
Governor Howard dies and is succeeded by Nehemiah G. 


1 88 1. Awful floods on Big Sioux and Missouri. 

Spotted Tail, noted Brule Sioux, killed by jealous warrior. 
Yankton College established by Dr. Joseph Ward. 

1882. Capital removed from Yankton to Bismarck. 
State University established. 

1883. Division and admission movement earnestly prosecuted to 

save school lands. First Sioux Falls constitutional con- 

Presbyterian University opened at Pierre. Removed to 
Huron as Huron College, 1899. 

Sioux Falls College founded. 

Agricultural College founded at Brookings. 

Madison Normal School founded. 



1884. Ordway succeeded by Gilbert A. Pierce. 
Redfield College founded. 

All Saints School for Young Ladies founded at Sioux Falls. 
Augustana College established at Canton. 

1885. Second Sioux Falls constitutional convention. Stale officers 

and United States senators elected. Huron temporary 

Spearfish Normal organized. 

Dakota VVesleyan University established at Mitchell. 
1887. Pierce succeeded by Louis K. Church. 
School of Mines founded at Rapid Citv. 

1889. Enabling act of Congress provides for division and admis- 

sion of South Dakota and North Dakota. 
Arthur C. Mellette succeeds Church. 
Third Sioux Falls constitutional convention. 
Division and admission at last, November 2. 
Lutheran Normal School founded at Sioux Falls. 

1890. Opening of portion of Great Sioux reservation between White 

and Cheyenne rivers. 
Messiah war.. Sitting Bull killed. Battle of Wounded Knee. 
Second year of alarming drouth. Many settlers destitute. 

1891. Good conditions restored. 

1895. Walter W. Taylor, state treasurer, defiiults for I367.000. and 

absconds. Returned and is convicted. 
Period of great depression and hard times. 
Springfield Normal organized. 

1896. The tide turns. Beginning of long period of prosperity. 

1898. Spanish War. First South Dakota Infantry sent to Philip- 

pines. Distinguished service there. 

1899. First South Dakota Infantry returns from Philippines crowned 

with glory. President McKinley welcomes the regiment 

1901. Northern Normal and Industrial School opened at Aberdeen. 
1904. Opening of portion of Rosebud land brings unprecedented 

rush of homesteaders. One hundred and six thou.sand 

persons apply for right to enter lands. 
Mitchell contests with Pierre for state capital. Pierre for 

third time successful. 


Summary of facts revealed by the Second State Census of South 

Dakota, 1905 : — 

Total population ...... 

Number of males, white ..... 
Number of females, white 

Total foreign born ...... 

Percentage of foreign born, 19.7. 

Total born in South Dakota .... 
Total born in South Dakota having native parents 
Total born in South Dakota having foreign parents 

Total born in other states .... 

Total born in other states having native parents 
Total born in other states having foreign parents 

Total having native parents 
Total having foreign parents 

Total of school age . 
Total of military age 
Total voters 

Total literate 10 years and over 
Total illiterate 10 years and over 
Percentage of illiteracy, 1.2. 

Total males over 10 engaged in useful employment 
Total females over 10 engaged in useful employment 
Total males unemployed . . . . 
Total females unemployed .... 



















Aborigines, 17. 
Aird, James, 47. 
Albright, Samuel J., no, 200. 
Allison, W. B., 143. 
Amidon, J. B., killed, 124. 
Animals, prehistoric, 10. 
Armadale Grove, 91. 
Armstrong, Moses K., 123. 
Ash Hollow, battle, 97. 
Ashley, Gen. W. H., 79. 
Ashton, 105. 
Astor, John J., 53. 
Astoria expedition, 53. 
Atkinson, Gen. Henry, 85 

Bad Lands, 9, 12, 13. 

Beadle, W. H. H., 167. 

Benteen, Major, 146. 

Big Elk, 76. 

Bigelow, " Gov.," 118. 

Big White, Mandan chief, 48. 

Black Buffalo, 38, 47, 56, 75, 183. 

Black Hills treaties, 143, 148. ' 

Black Moon, 145. 

Boat race, 55. 

Boom days, 156. 

Brackenridge, scientist, 58. 

Bradley, John, 58. 

British trade, 85. 

Brookings, W. W., in, 200. 

Brown, M. C, poet, 163. 

Brown. Samuel J., 131, 132. 

Burbank, John A., 203, 205. 

California trail, 95. 
Campbell, Hugh J., 169. 
Capital location, 120, 169, 195. 
Catlin, George, 70, 90. 
Charger, Martin, 127. 
Chouteau, Pierre, Sr., 49, 53. 
Chouteau, Pierre, Jr., 89. 
Church, Gov., 204, 207. 
Clark, Capt. William, 30, 33. 
Constitutions, 169. 
Crazy Band, 127, 
Crazy Horse, 145. 
Custer, G. A., 14a, 146. 

Dakota cavalry, 125, 130, 134.. 

Daley, Rev. C. M., 188.' 

Deadwood gulch, 152. 

De Smet, 92. 

De Witt, Franklin, 108. 

Dickson, Robert, 67. 

Dorion, Pierre, 26, 38, 49, 50, 54. 

Edgerton, Alonso J., 169, 211. 
Edmunds, Newton, 201, 202. 
Elrod, Samuel H., 208, 209 

Faulk, Andrew J., 202, 203. 

First bloodshed, 51. 

First regiment, 187. 

First rhyme, 99. 

Flandrau, Charles E., 104. 

Floods, 165. 

Floyd, Sergt. Charles, 32. 

Fourth of July Celebration, 86. 

Fremont, John C, 90. 

French claims, 25, 27, 

Frost, Alfred B., 187. 

Gall, 145. 

Galpin, Charles E., 126. 

Gamble, Robert J., 212. 

Gardner, Abbie (Sharp), 103. 

Garreau, Pierre, 26, 45. 

Geology, 9. 

Gifford, Oscar S., 169. 

Gold discovered in Black Hills, 143, 

Goodwin, Mrs., no. 
Grasshoppers, 142. 
Gray Eyes, Ree chief, 59. 
Greyfoot, 103. 
Grigsby's Cowboys, 193. 

Harney, W. S., 86, 96. 

Herreid, Gov., 208, 209. 

Holman, John, 190. 

Holmes, Charles E., 13. 

Howard, William A., 107, 204, 205. 

Hughitt, Marvin, 156. 

Hump, 183. 

Hunt, Walter P., 53. 




Iiikpaduta, 102, 106, 145. 

Jayne, William, 117, 201, 202. 

Kidder, Jefferson P., 11 1. 
Kiowas, 18. 

Kittredge, Alfred B., 213. 
Kyle, James H., 212. 

La Barge, Joseph, 100. 

La Framboise, Joseph, 78, 88. 

Laidlaw, William, 199. 

Lake Thompson, battle, 106. 

La Plant, Louis, 129. ' 

Leavenworth, Col. Henry, 81. 

Lee', Andrew E., 208, 209. 

Lefthand, Ree chief, 59. 

Le Sueur, Charles Pierre, 22, 23. 

Lewis and Clark, 15, 30, 32, 34, 36, 48, 

53, 113, 183. 
Lien, Jonas, 188. 
Lisa, Manuel, 49, 50, 53, 72. 
Little Big Horn, battle, 146. 
Little Cherry, 25. 
Little Crow, 105, 106. 
Loisel Post, 26, 36. 
Louisiana Purchase, 28, 

McKay, William, 140. 
Massacre by Rees, 80. 
Massacre, Fetterman, 138. 
Masters, Henry, 109, 200. 
Maximilian, 90. 
Medicine Rock, 87. 
Mellette, Arthur C, 169, 206, 207 
Messiah war, 173. 
Miner, Capt. Nelson, 125. 
Moody, Gideon C, 169, 211. 
Mounds, 14-16. 

Newspapers established, no, 119. 
Nicollet, Joseph N., 90. 

O'Fallon, Dr. Benjamin, 81. 
Other Day, John, 104. 

Pearson, John B., 152. 
Pennington, John L., 204, 205 
Pettigrew, R. F., 211. 
Philippine war, 188. 
Pierce, G. A., 204, 207. 
Pilcher. Joshua, 81. 
Pinney, George M., 120. 

Primeau, Charles E. 
Pry or, Sergeant, 49. 


Railway extensions, 157. 

Red Cloud war, 135. 

Ree Indians, 17, 45, 49, 61, 8p.. 

Reno, Major, 146. 

Riggs, Dr. S. R., 92, 104 

' Sacajawea, 46. 
Sauguin, Dr., 37, 52. 
Shannon, George, 51, 35. 
Sheafe, Mark W., 193. 
Sheldon, Charles H., 208, 209. 
Shetak captives, 126. 
Shober, John H., 120. 
Short Bull, 176. 
Sitting Bull, 100, 145, 181 
Smith, Jedediah S., 83. 
Smutty Bear, 109, 113. 
Snow blockades, 160. 
Somers, James, 120, 
Spanish war, 187. 
Spirit Lake massacre, 102. 
Stackpole, Samuel, 81. 
Statehood, 167. 
Stover, Col. Lee, 187. 
Struck by the Ree, 34, 113, I2i5, 

Taylor, William W., 210. 
Todd, J. B. S.,119, 202. 
Tripp, Bartlett, 169. 
Trudeau's Post, 26. 

Valle, John, 45. 
Van Houten, Clayton C, 191 
V6rendrye, 25. 
Vermilion, 117, 165. 

Wamdesapa, 92, 102. 
Waneta, 68, 69, 87. 
War of 1812, 67. 
War of the Outbreak, 124. 
Ward, Dr. Joseph, 167. 
Warne, Dr. R. C, 188. 
Warren, Gen. G. K., 94 
White Lodge, 126. 
Wounded Knee, battle, 185. 

Yankton stockade, 125. 
Yankton treaty, 113. 

Ziebach. Frank M., 125. 

651 \